SINGLE REVIEW: Bells On by Candy Jackson

Australian alt-country act Candy Jackson formed in 2018 and features established Melbourne musicians Warren James and Jamie Osborne. The band has just released their debut track Bells On, a charming amalgamation of old and new influences but a song that also establishes the band’s style: a vulnerable and expressive vocal, an idiosyncratic approach to writing and a lively and rousing sense of recalibrated country-folk aesthetics. One can hear all the influences the band has cited, such as Kris Kristofferson, Willy Nelson and Kenny Rogers but there are also traces of a style that is more in the folk-like vein, with a Dylanesque characteristic in the vocal delivery. But there is definitely a sense of authority and authenticity about Bells On and this comes as no surprise considering the Warren and Jamie’s background: they met as teenagers, and throughout their careers have joined forces on several occasions. In the 90s they were part of pop/rock act Unity Hall. Unity Hall released their debut album (This Ain’t Gonna Hurt A Bit) with Melbourne producer Lawrence Maddy at the helm (Tism, Paul Kelly, Rebecca’s Empire). The singles from that album attracted national radio play and touring soon followed, sharing stages with acts like Jimmy Barnes, The Living End, Alex Lloyd and Jet but to name a few. Cut to present day and it seems that taking into account the members’ history Candy Jackson was bound to happen. Teaming up with Melbourne music luminaries Justin Brady (harmonica, fiddle and mandolin), Jeff Glass and Mark Belcastro (drums), Candy Jackson is refreshingly buoyant Australian country, maintaining more than a cursory nod to country roots but expanding this to incorporate some modern musical traits also. Bells On is a highly satisfying introduction to a new act that is sure to make great headway in the months to come.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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