Album Reviews

Jackson + Sellers – Breaking Point – Album Review

Whilst the state of the world and the global pandemic played havoc with a vast number of freedoms and the ability for artists to tour freely, it did offer opportunities for connection, creativity and collaboration in ways that may not have been possible under the way we once knew things. One such example of magic happening during this time was when two of the most exciting females in Americana music developed a fast-growing friendship which led to a collaboration between Jade Jackson and Aubrie Sellers uniting as Jackson+Sellers.

The duo made their first appearance during Americana Fest ahead of the release of this upcoming debut album as a duo titled “Breaking Point” which was recorded in late 2020 at The Cabin in East Nashville and was released on October 22nd through ANTI- Records.

The natural way to talk through an album is from the beginning which in this case is not the opener or lead single but with the sixth track “Hush” because it was the track that the project and album evolved from. The song was written by Jackson and was the track that she initially reached out to Sellers about collaborating with which was the first track they recorded together and sent as the demo to launch the project. The track is one that really showcases the songwriting and the voices particularly how well they harmonise together. It has a really strong impression of what people that may have listened to Jade before are familiar with and the way that Aubrie’s voice enhances it to sound like something you would expect from First Aid Kit or The Secret Sisters in that kind of aura is evident to see why in hindsight that Jade Jackson knew what she wanted to do with the song and Aubrie Sellers was the perfect person for it. Along with the track that follows this on the record which is “Fair Weather” I would say these are the most typical sounding songs melodically you would anticipate from a collaborative project from two people with a background in Americana which work nicely to keep the album grounded.

In addition to Hush the other track they initially recorded as their demo on the first night they recorded together has became the final track on the album which is an interpretation of Shannon Wright’s raucous track “Has Been”. This cover brings a lot of classic rock vibes and is the third reworking on the record along with versions of “The Wild One” recorded originally by Suzi Quatro and the absolute rocking statement to open the album in the form of “The Devil Is An Angel” made famous by Julie Miller. These are deep cuts from the original artists that the duo has reimagined and perfectly fit the project whilst also pays homage to some really strong and trailblazing female artists.

Throughout the entire album you do hear this strong rock influence like from the forementioned women and also as a starting point for people that may not be familiar with either Jackson or Sellers individually there are hints of early Sheryl Crow and Joan Jett but done in a way of interchanging lead vocals and combining blissful harmonies that you would assume had been paired together for decades rather than just the past twelve months. The reason I mention Sheryl Crow is the way the rock base of the melody does not overpower the vocal or the songwriting and “Waste Your Time” especially sounds like a song I could vividly imagine her performing.

Personally, the standout track on this project (which is actually quite big to say as the entire record is so strong) is the duos only co-write during the creation as all of the others were brought to the table initially. “Wound Up” sounds like The Runaways putting electric guitars over a rockabilly that has a sound that incorporates everything across the last fifty years of recorded music and will be an absolute must for wanting to see live.

The album’s title track “Breaking Point” brings gritty guitars intertwined with late night bar vibes which sets a great imprint of what the project encompasses because it covers so much sonically so can access the entire musical audience right across the spectrum. Then that is not forgetting Sellers darker and heavier masterpiece “The World Is Black” along with the slower and more serene “As You Run” which Jade had said was her favourite song on the project.

With this album it is actually quite difficult to specifically place into a genre box which is actually a very cool thing to say about a record because you can just fundamentally say it is a great thing to listen to without having a pre-conceived idea. It is a lot heavier than what you typically expect from an Americana project particularly having listened to the artists individually and this would explain why when I spoke to Aubrie and Jade, they girls felt that alternative radio had been very embracing of the album. You hear the influence and upbringing that rock music brought to them both as artists yet there still is enough of what they are both renowned for to appreciate the depth of the songs. It may not be a straight up “rock” record because of this as there is a little bit too much down the roots or alt-country road for purists of that genre so by default the fact that it has too much of something else to be placed in that box it does bring it to within the realms of Americana for this very reason. However, whatever way you choose to describe it the simple conclusion is that it is a really enticing and exciting record that is very unique whilst being trendy and edgy enough across the entire spectrum.

Breaking Point” Tracklist

1. The Devil Is An Angel

2. Breaking Point

3. As You Run

4. The World Is Black

5. Waste Your Time

6. Hush

7. Fair Weather

8. Wound Up

9. The Wild One

10. Has Been

 

The debut album “Breaking Point” from Jackson+Sellers was released on October 22nd via ANTI- Records which you can find HERE. For more information on the duo, you can check out their website or you can keep in touch socially with Jade and Aubrie through Instagram Twitter TikTok or Facebook.

 

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