Smooth and soulful vocals lead us through a Gospel-soaked vocal ambiance, complete with thoughtful, heartfelt and poetic lyrics, as Jawan’s new EP Aligned softly pours into the room.
Stunning vocals prove a strong calling card of Jawan’s from Selfish (intro) right through to the end of the EP. As does this reflective, self-aware manner of writing. The soulful vocal tones and expressive delivery reinforce the genuine nature of the lyrics, and meanwhile the soundscape evolves to welcome in unexpected layers of strings and further traits of musicality that are far from confined to a single genre.
Contact follows, and already the voice, the mood and the writing style have found their place and feel familiar. Here we get a more nostalgic RnB set-up though, and a few Boys-II-Men-esque vocal harmonies that really set the vibe.
Aligned, the title-track, kicks into gear with gorgeously appreciative lyrics – ‘What a time to be alive…’. The song goes on to softly utilise vocal soul and lyrics amidst a minimalist, spacious backdrop, to encapsulate the very concept of this project – this desire to align oneself with one’s beliefs, the possibilities that lie ahead; to see the beauty in the world and in the self.
Ready introduces a more contemplative, mildly regretful aura, yet still focuses on the best possible outcome – the best moves to make in the future. The idea is that of learning what went wrong, learning from change and mistakes, and this sublime and delicate arrangement allows that sentiment to really speak volumes.
On the flip side, Do What I Want steps away from unity and relationships, to focus purely on the self and the dreams that move us. The track has a strong groove, a dash of fuzz on the bass, and a higher energy on the whole – injecting a fairly upbeat moment to this latter half of the EP.
Then we get a deeply observational, honest and aptly poignant Change The World. Talk of depression, clouded views, lack of hope, all drives this upbeat RnB track through its various stages – ultimately resolving in a sense of possibility once again; that we can make it, we can change things.
Love Yourself follows and is an easy highlight – a beautiful way to finish the EP. Classic RnB vibes return, rising into a warm and uplifting beat, as a powerful hook brightens things distinctly – prompting us all to remember that self-love is crucial before we can even consider loving other people.
Great production allows the strength of Jawan’s songwriting and vocal performances to really shine brightly. This entire EP showcases an artist with a clear love for the process and for life itself. The journey isn’t purely optimistic though, there’s plenty of emotional realism throughout these songs, and for all of these reasons Jawan’s songwriting and overall style connect in an authentically human and musically satisfying way. Well worth exploring.