Island Records; 2016
I made the epic mistake of watching the movie “Me Before You” the other. At the end of it, I was sobbing my life away and felt like I had also just lost the love of my life (Iʻm currently single). I mean, I was really going through it. I even wrote a poem.
There was one good thing, however, that came from me crying during the entire second half of the movie: I discovered Jack Garratt.
Jack Garratt is a UK electronica/indie pop/trip hop/electro-R&B artist whose track “Surprise Yourself” off of his debut studio album Phase was featured at the turning point in the movie. Released under Island Records, hit 3rd on the UK charts, but only 127 on the US charts. The track “Worry” is actually his most-played track on Spotify.
Garratt’s voice is slightly reminiscent of Sam Smith at times, but still very much has its own edge to it. His lyricism combined with his vocal talents guide the listener to different places in human emotion. Some tracks really put you through it all. You might start off feeling anxious and worried, but end up on a high note of confidence and elation as the music crescendos and you’ve reached the peak of the song’s emotion.
Take “Surprise Yourself”, for example. The song deals with overcoming fears and self-doubt to surprise yourself with what you can accomplish once you’ve overcome those obstacles. The music video, shot with a GoPro, follows a bunch of regular people doing just that.
Phase, as an album, seems to be mostly mellow indie-electro-R&B. There are some tracks that pick it up, like “Fire”, that hits hard with a more liquid drum & bass feel. At times, I wished it did have more upbeat tracks, as it seemed I was sinking into the doldrums of my own existence a bit too often. Some tracks seemed to blend into one another, which can be a good or bad thing, depending on how you listen to it.
My other personal fave off the album, and definitely a candidate for the first dance song at my future wedding, is “Weathered”. It’s like the edgier, more realist view of love in comparison to the ever popular, grossly over-played (which kind of ruined it for me) Ed Sheeran hit “Thinking Out Loud”.
All in all, I found myself listening to this album on repeat, so wrapped up in emotions that I had to change it up every once in a while, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.