Jillian Edwards – Headfirst

Jillian Edwards – Headfirst

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2011 held its share of good musical moments, but the wow factor was almost non-existent unless you managed to find the right places to look. Stumbling upon Jillian Edwards and her recent release, Headfirst, however, was one of those times. With melodies you cannot dig out of your mind, lyrics that are dreamy one minute and deeply cutting the next and vocals that bring to mind a combination of Katie Herzig and States’s Mindy White, Headfirst is one of the great final entries into 2011’s discography.

The ethereal folktronica of “Once Should Be Enough” matches perfectly with Edwards’ steady vocal, and the tale of Edwards writing song after song about a former love when once ought to be enough is entrancing and heartbreaking all at once. The jangly, fun, hopelessly romantic pop rock of “Keep You Here With Me” will be familiar to anyone who has ever been so enamored with someone that they long not to have to let them go. “Birthday” comes a bit out of left field relative to the other tracks with its building rhythms that crescendo into a full-fledged climax of epic rock and echoing, otherworldly guitars — but Edwards delivers a vocal stunner and mesmerizes with lyrics about the difficulty of longing to be with someone you know needs their space.

Headfirst is a vibrant album, full of pain, dreams, tears, laughter and enough emotion to make your heart burst. Edwards shines with her varied vocal performances and fantastic ability to know what registers to hit at the right moments without ever having to resort to sappy melodrama, showcasing a subtle confidence to her performances that is dynamic. Headfirst is an absolute winner on all levels.


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