Jaelee Small - TicToc - Stereo Stickman

Jaelee Small TicToc


Me, I like big vocal arrangements – and the lusher the better, please. Listen to this and you’ll see that I’m currently a very happy bunny.

TicToc is a supremely confident and bonkers piece of awesomeness. It comes out of the traps in a windswept glory that dares you to try to cling on as it whips and whirls away.

Beginning with a rolling piano motif (that bizarrely reminds me of the sort of theme that Lloyds Bank tend to favour), it quickly introduces Jaelee’s vocals, as well as drums, bass, glockenspiel, see-sawing strings/pizzicato, and then later some mind-bending brass – the kind of orchestration that most of us can only dream about.

Tragically, this astonishing confection is over so very quickly – in two and a half minutes, actually. Beginning and concluding with (yes, you’ve guessed it) the sound of a ticking clock, it’s fairly impossible not to reference the work (and the esoteric) of the great Kate Bush as a touchstone for the piece.

Let’s discuss the mellifluous vocal that flicks between chest voice and falsetto so elegantly; so easily. And let’s admire how wonderfully and lushly it harmonises with itself. And the afore-mentioned incredible arrangement of syncopated and counter-point-ing vocal events that occur here. Let’s relish the incredible natural vibrato, too – and the talent that has concocted this astonishing slice of sonic wonder.

In fact, everything is wonderful about this, including the musicianship. Inevitably, it won’t be to everyone’s taste. But if you aren’t a little curious after reading this, you probably don’t deserve ears. It really is that good!

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Chris Porter


As well as writing about music, Chris Porter is a songwriter, singer, producer & vocal coach. He has written for all manner of international artists, including Dagny, Dzeko, and hit the No.1 spot with Thailand’s Singto Numchok. His music has had thousands of placements on film, TV & radio all around the globe.

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