JARED MCCLOUD – TO LIVE AND DIE IN YOUR ARMS
by Thomas Richter
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Who can forget the greatest Rock n’ Roll party of all time? Fortunately I am old enough to remember some of it. Trust me when I say being in London in the early 60’s and late 70’s was the place to be as bands like The Beatles, The Who, The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin dominated the airwaves. So amazing was this generation and it’s contribution to pop culture it still has it’s stamp on music today. Bands like The Swell Season, Benjamin Francis Leftwich, Fleet Foxes, Noah and the Whale and even Kaiser Chiefs bring a psychedelic aftertaste to their blend of Rock. There is a new artist cut from the cloth as some of the above bands. but with a more earthy-folk feel. This artists goes by the name of Jared McCloud. A mix of influences from Tom Waits to Chris Whitley, Springsteen to Motown, crowds started to take notice of McCloud and his unique brand of songwriting. In 2008 Jared began recording a new collection of songs in a different direction than those of his hard rock past. In May of 2009 he released his indie label debut “Romance Of The Atlantic”, and it was immediately embraced by fans and critics alike.
“To Live and Die in Your Arms” is his latest EP and I Must say it has much to commend it. Admittedly, there is a whole lot of variety to these arrangements and performances. First: the impressive McCloud on guitar and vocals coupled with the impressive line-up of musicians backing him up make quite the first impression. Humble and company delivers rock solid playing and impressive songwriting skills to boot. This is testament to hundreds of hours of rehearsal time no doubt. Second: Vocally McCloud bleeds emotion and is the real deal and has all the typical attributes needed of an effective singer/songwriter (visuals and vocals). Third: McCloud’s s combination of modern rock yet with a slight alt-rolk-pop aftertaste will remind you of Mumford & sons, Kings of Leon, Iron and Wine. McCloud has the creativity, production expertise and songwriting prowess to be extremely dangerous. There is also a unique quality to this catalogue that breaks the mold from the mundane pop-rock that’s been filling the airwaves lately. Humble delivers an alternative-rock sound that will remind you of The Swell Season, Benjamin Francis Leftwich, Fleet Foxes, Noah and the Whale. Not every square inch is filled with musical ambience delivered under duress – but musical space this allows the music to breathe on its own.
My top tracks are “Hail Mary”, “Flicker” and “Pieces”
I always said if you can play it a party, then it’s marketable. The music of Jared McCloud is extremely marketable with a fresh sound that is simply very likeable very much like the artist himself. All 6 tracks will genuinely lift your spirits unlike most music you hear on the radio these days. This is a long EP with 6 tracks as well.
Final Word “To Live and Die in Your Arms” from Jared McCloud has everything. It’s an endearing album limited by nothing. I would imagine in time we will hear more from McCloud but I can honestly say this is one artist set up for success down the road with his marketable appeal and fresh sound that gives modern music a well needed shot in the arm.