Musical Discovery: ‘Hometown (Radio Edit)’ by Jack Wins feat. Raphaella

There’s something liberating about being on the brink of making your debut as an artist. Yet to be defined by a single sound from a breakthrough single, DJs, bands and singers are free to experiment with different genres and styles before that one moment comes. For Jack Wins, previous releases ranged from poppy piano stab tracks such as Good Love to hazy synth and deep house vibes as heard in I Used to Love You. Now, with plenty of singles to his name and a brand new EP, Hometown is a wonderful mix of his past work.

Look no further than the introduction to the track – a series of haunting synth notes that hold a striking resemblance from Years and Years’ Shine that taps into the more mainstream side of the Dutch DJ’s style. Add in some light, soft vocals with a hint of soul from Raphaela and you have the typical low scene-setter to build up from.

As a drum beat grows in the background, it halts two lines before the end of the verse to create a smooth acapella with the vocals and a satisfying drop into the main melody of the song.

Cue the club vibes, with the common underlying bass notes mixed with high-pitched synth. As much as the song’s structure makes this sound euphoric, credit must also go to Raphaella, who is no longer constrained to the calmer side of her vocal range. Now, the bottled-up soul bursts out, merging perfectly with Jack’s constructed instrumentals.

If, surprisingly, this fails to get the crowd pumped or the bedroom listener excited, then the fact that the producer slips in a brief nod to tracks such as Good Love and Give it Up with sharp piano stabs should do the trick. After all, it’s an instrumental element included in tracks by artists such as Blonde and Sigala that have smashed the UK charts.

Yet, with a timecode of 2:40, there can be a sense of disappointment that comes with the end of the song. In amongst all the excitement packed into such a short duration, it’s easy to abandon that sense of structure we look out for in songs (with most songs, we know when it’s the final verse). With smooth transitions from verse to chorus, it certainly doesn’t feel like two minutes, but time flies when there’s good music playing, and there’s always the longer full house mix to listen to.


A Thousand Words: Hometown

As promised a few weeks ago, here is the first post in a new series which I am trying out on this blog, called ‘A Thousand Words’. Every week, I’ll share a photo from that week and talk more about it, in the hope it’ll encourage me to take more photos and talk more about lifestyle here on The Life of a Thinker.

A local concert I went to earlier this week, which got me thinking about getting to learn more about my home town.

You’d have thought after the craziness that is Glastonbury Festival, that I would have given concerts and gigs a break for a while, right?

Well, when the annual concert takes place in my home town (with two famous bands on the line-up), of course I had to check it out.

However, with this being my first big social outing at home since I’ve returned from university, this usually becomes an opportunity to see some familiar faces in amongst the crowds. I see old acquaintances from school, as well as those I didn’t really get on with. Yet, beyond these pros and cons, I came to realise a sense of distance from home.

In Lincoln, I’ve come to understand some of the inner workings of the city’s community (as required, of course, as a local journalist), but my focus must now shift back to the place I’ve lived at the longest. It’s time to spend some more time at home and find out what’s been going on whilst I’ve been away.

I’ve already had a glimpse into this thanks to the General Election coverage I took part in, but I have another idea as to how I can do this over the next few months. I’ll be sending some emails tomorrow.

Fingers crossed…