Jaylis – Precious As The Diamonds (Independent)
Jaylis is the name given to Sandra Loerincik Barrat’s latest musical project, instigated when she picked up a guitar and began to write songs – around the time her second child was born. Collaborating with arranger Raphael Noir, Jaylis has fashioned a collection that’s full of joy and positivity, and wrapped up in memories of childhood. In her own words, she describes “Precious As The Diamonds” the result of “what life can bring to you if you smile at it”, and that simple sentiment is reflected throughout the album’s dozen tracks.
With regard to sound and style, the Lausanne native delivers her material with an indie-folk whimsy, which is utterly appealing. Names like Kate Bush, Tori Amos and Norah Jones come to mind, and she’s never scared of incorporating non-traditional elements – from the country-rock rhythm of the title track to the spaghetti western atmospherics of “Break”. Both songs provide standout moments in the collection, though they’re hardly alone.
Opening cut “Flowers” is a perfect scene-setter. Jaylis’ vocal is sweet and assured, and her musicians (and Noir’s arrangement) build the song beautifully, filling the gaps, but leaving it uncluttered. “USA” is a perfect three-minute pop song. It’s catchy and infectious, and deserves huge radio attention, and the ethereal “Ghost” plays with vivid imagery, and musically, it resides in the wastelands of a broken heart. It’s moving and touching, and quite lovely.