Growing Old With Rock and Roll

Growing Old With Rock and Roll

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Jerad Finck - "New Kids" (2017)

Photo by Michael Sparks Keegan


The inexorable rise of Jerad Finck’s musical career is a natural consequence of his songwriting talents reaching one new peak after another, but also the result of a lifetime’s musical experiences finding near perfect avenues for self expression. His latest single “New Kids” finds this Spokane, Washington native offering up a release qualifying as top shelf, finely crafted modern pop but also possesses a sharply honed singer/songwriter edge never risking self indulgence or heavy handedness. His acumen is derived, in no small part, from manifesting a strong interest in jazz as a youth and during his college years. It was during those college years that Finck joined his first rock band and his journey here informs the quality of his latest offering. “New Kids” is a fleshed out and fully evocative example of modern pop songwriting.

Finck, unlike many, doesn’t go in for glossy surface devoid of meaning. “New Kids”, instead, makes fresh use of traditional popular music instruments like the guitar. He employs these elements through the arrangement with pinpoint accuracy, never applying more color than is needed, and wraps his voice around the melody with equal parts emotion and finesse. Many performers, particularly singers, come off as stiff or too formal when attempting a style piece such as this. Finck is cut from a different cloth. He brings the right amount of emotional and musical heft to this performance and plays the lyric just right – his phrasing lands on particularly pleasing stress points, he elongates the right syllables while soft pedaling others, and finishes off the songs most important passages in a highly satisfying way. Despite the fact he is such a young performer, Finck demonstrates total command over the material and a cool, effervescent confidence that lights the song with a lustrous blue glow.

It has just the right length and the instrumentation never sounds cluttered or hurried. Finck is at the center of the mix, but it’s clear that there’s been great care taken to bring the musical and vocal aims in total accord with one another. Each part feeds off the next and it gives the songwriting an impressively coherent, unified quality that many such efforts lack. His songwriting talents extend to lucid and often elegant lyrical turns of phrase. This isn't the typical sputtering, half-clear assortment of clich├ęs we often hear in modern pop music. Instead, Finck comes off as a performer with something intensely personal to say that he believes many others will relate to. This sort of sincerity and blindness to what the world may say are among the hallmarks of our most memorable performing artists. Jerad Finck will continue to sharpen, deepen, and refine his craft on the back of quality material like “New Kids” until he likely takes a place among the brightest talents of his time.

Written by: William Elgin

Grade: A

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