Photo by Michael Sparks Keegan
Written by David Beals, posted by Jason
Jerad Finck has experienced notable success since his debut a few short years ago, but his newest single “New Kids” poises him to ascend to a much higher level of exposure and commercial success. The product of a jazz music upbringing, Finck only turned his attention to popular music in full during his time in college. One can easily imagine a young Finck experiencing that light bulb over the head moment when he began experiencing what it felt like to be performing in front of a live audience and the symbiotic relationship between a live performer and their audience. You can still hear much of that inspiration in his performance of “New Kids” – the thrill of discovery, the vulnerability of a singer/songwriter delivering his lyrics with complete freedom. The performance is quite stylish on all fronts and Finck’s singing is placed in near perfect context with the musical arrangement.
The production calls a certain amount of attention to itself. The instruments are expertly miked and there’s a tasteful veneer of reverb laid over certain aspects of the sound that imbue it with extra depth. The song’s construction quickly brings listeners into the performance, but much of the track’s ultimate merit is achieved through a process rather than revealing the entirety of its melodic hand at once. Instead, Finck and his musical partners develop “New Kids” with exactly the patience it requires to realize its potential. Much of that, as well, is accomplished on the backs of great musicianship. It isn’t a collection of barely restrained virtuoso turns however. Instead, we are clearly listening to a collection of players who know exactly how to tailor their talents to fill out the shape of a particular song.
Finck’s vocals are nothing short of superb. He doesn’t have a technically excellent voice, thankfully, but he understands how to get inside the emotional truth of a lyric and play his voice off against the arrangement for maximum effect. There’s a natural, unaffected smokiness to his delivery that accentuates the track’s atmospheric strengths, but it helps even more that he has a substantive lyric to work with. Half measures alone could have cared Finck and this track over the finish line for victory, but he’s thankfully not content with just some placeholder words. “New Kids”,, instead, resonates with the ring of personal truth and gains even more luster from his intelligent phrasing. This is the next logical step in Jerad Finck’s career and shows he’s developing artistically at a pace any other songwriter and performer would envy. He sets the bar high here and we can only expect that his rise will continue.