I’ve seen JoJo Green perform live a couple of times over the past few months and it sparked a fire in me. There’s something about JoJo and her band that I just find absolutely addicting and triumphant. It’s a feeling that, as I am starting to feel overwhelmed about this stack of music I want to consume, will only help me out at this point so now seems like the perfect time to check out JoJo Green’s 2022 EP, ‘The Summer Tree’.
The title track, ‘The Summer Tree’ gets this five-song EP started off right. The jazzy and funky intro lays out the unique sound of style JoJo Green perfectly and lays down a runway of sorts for the vocals to come in and take this song over. With this opener being over seven minutes long, the band takes their time with the intro and, typically I would hate that as I’m such a vocals and lyrics lady but the emotive nature and creativity of this band can not be understated and giving the band a chance to shine right off the bat on this EP was absolutely brilliant. When the vocals do eventually come in, they whisk you off to a completely different world where you have no problems or stresses. There’s just something so chill and funky about this track yet there’s no denying the infectious energy that comes with it.
At over seven minutes long, it was impossible for me to just not get lost in “The Summer Tree” but I was knocked back to consciousness when “Fire Escape” took over my speakers. There’s an almost disco vibe to this track that caught me a bit off guard but, knowing JoJo, I knew this was one of her trademarks. It’s like it’s music from another time but there’s definitely a modern twist to it so the track doesn’t feel dated in any way, shape or form. JoJo’s vocals shine throughout this track perfectly sliding from note to note with a sense of calmness yet undeniable precision. Her vocals, like the rest of the instrumentation, seems to dance over a steady yet subtle beat making this a perfect song to just get up and dance to.
That beat becomes a bit more stern when it comes to “Billie” but this third track on the EP is still just as fun. Everything about this track still feels just as funky and organic as the previous songs but there’s just something a bit more serious about everything from the composition of the track to the force that comes with the vocals. Okay, force makes it sound back but there’s this strength and power behind the vocals that made it a stand out track for me instantly. Add the not-so-predictable yet perfectly placed slides down certain words and phrases and you are left with a truly stunning song that will grab your attention no matter how busy you are.
Although just as fresh feeling as the previous tracks, “Station” slows things down and brings an almost southern influence to this EP. As soon as JoJo’s vocals came in on this song, I was left with goosebumps creeping up my arms and the hair on the back of my neck standing out. Each word is absolutely drenched with passion and emotion. For the first couple of minutes, I honestly didn’t even realize what was being said. I was just so captivated by the vocals themselves but, as I started to really listen to the story-telling of this song, it was hard to not tumble head over heels for this song. Like I mentioned, I like JoJo Green for the triumphant energy I get from their shows and I got that feeling listening to “Station” even though I was just sitting at my desk.
“Tennessee” ends this album going back to the pure funk and sass that kicked the album off. A fun track that showcases everything from the band to the vocals, I loved the swagger that came through in this song. It’s something that had been subtly there throughout the previous four songs but really comes into the spotlight in this closer. Honestly, I wish this was something I had heard more of previously but, at the same time, I like that this was one of those “hidden gems” that didn’t come to fruition until the end. “Tennessee” is an absolutely rocking track that will surely give you the motivation to get done whatever has been sitting on your to-do list for far too long so feel free to listen to this one a few times before going on about your day just to make sure it really sinks in.
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