Jacob Collier’s upcoming record, In My Room, is the next project in my ‘Anticipating…’ series. Today, after some delays (due to technical difficulties), Collier dropped the first single from his debut record, ‘Hideaway’. I have SO MUCH to say about this song.
It opens with this beautiful cocophony of string playing that washes in and out of your ears like waves crashing against a cliffside. The intense intro melts away into a more sparse, trio of bass, voice and percussion (all played by Collier himself), with other instruments added in as the piece progresses. The numerous string instruments allow Collier to creat these intricate countermelodies that really enhance the song’s texture. Of course, the vocals are astounding. Collier’s unique, soft, jazzy voice is enhanced by his trademark vocal harmonizer (a device of Collier’s own design), which add a more sophisticated harmonic element to this otherwise standard sequence.
Around the halfway mark, the piece devolves into a bass heavy, polyrhythmic breakdown. What is astounding, is the way the piece can so quickly shift styles and focus, without ever feeling at all unnatural or disjointed. The use of electronic effects for transition and as a way of creating atmospheric change, make the sound of this song even more special.
In the process of listening to this song, I was constantly amazed by the way Collier was able to integrate all of the instruments that he did. From guitars, to U-bass, to banjo, accordian, bass guitar, full drum set and various sorts of percussion from all over the world, Collier included each instrument without any of them feeling out of place, regardless of their disparit musical backgrounds.
In ‘Hideaway’, Jacob Collier has created a sound all his own, and a phenominally interesting one at that. This music is incredibly intellectual with lots to disect, but at the same time, it’s fantastically visceral and full of emotion. If the rest of In My Room is anything like this, then I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be able to wait patiently for it before I riot.
Great review! I thought his harmoniser was made for him at MIT–if not, then he is a freak on all kinds of new levels