By the age of nine, American musician Jae Franklin was already busy writing her own music, having being introduced to the piano a year earlier. Singers such as Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston served as her inspiration as she grew up and gradually carved out a singular style of her own. She’s spent 2015 working away on a new album entitled Cheers to Life, which will arrive on February 2nd. Before that though, you can get a taste of what’s to come thanks to its lead single, “Higher”.

It starts as some shrill wailing washes enticingly across pressing piano keys. These are soon superseded by characterful bass work that absorbs underneath a hushed but high-pitched harmony in the verse. The vocals progress placidly as the instrumentation grows in volume and velocity until a sequence of smooth singing and cool synths takes over in the middle of the second minute.

This evolves into an exhibition of warm and rousing instrumentation that maintains a mellow mood and soothes the senses, before the bass begins to bounce playfully again. The pace is pleasant but purposeful, increasing slowly on the way forward. All the while, the refrain remains resonant and arresting as enthralling electronics drift in and out of the background, establishing an ethereal ambience that endures through to the affecting final minute.

It all eventually culminates in a fervent finale that puts a captivating cap on the proceedings. The result is a soulful song that flows fluidly and stays extremely animated all the way through. Its slick and soothing sound allows for a light listen, which means that it should go down well with an abundant audience.

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Graduate of NUI Maynooth's Department of English, passionate writer of fiction and creative non-fiction alike. Mad about music, movies and books. If there's anything I enjoy more than listening, watching and reading, it's writing about what I listen to, watch and read! Check me out at davecsimpson.wordpress.com, find me on Twitter @davesimpson1 or drop me a line at dave@puremzine.com