Updated: May 12, 2021
‘Where did you get that halo?’ Melbourne based singer-songwriter and instrumentalist, Jess Locke, sings to us as she guides us through the quiet world of her new single, ‘Halo’. Released in anticipation for her upcoming album, Don’t Ask Yourself Why (out on Friday, 26 March 2021), ‘Halo’ is a cool addition to Locke’s discography.
When describing her vision for the song, Locke said:
“Instrumentally, I always wanted this song to be very minimalistic, but it was hard to figure out how to do that without just being boring.”
Locke needn’t have worried. The track’s simplicity is what makes it a gem. Locke’s vocals, and a gentle bass and synths are weaved together to create a enthralling melodic conversation. However, there’s another element of the song that helps elevate it into a standout single. Inspired by the male vocals of “a Cat Power song called ‘Evolution’”, Locke enlisted the help of her album’s producer, Rob Muinos, to provide a deep masculine voice that would play under the instruments and Locke’s vocals. Locke says:
“[for the song] I knew I wanted this deep, guttural, almost monstrous sound … I am notoriously addicted to doubling my own vocals and I liked the idea of using a male double as a way to achieve that texture but also give more depth than just layering my own voice.”
Locke’s instincts were right. Muinos’s vocals add a haunting undercurrent to the track that amplifies the less gruff sounds of the instruments and Locke. When following along with the lyrics, Muinos adds a foreboding emphasis to Locke’s, making us feel as if we’re standing on the edge of the unknown. Is there something beyond? Only Locke and Muinos know. ‘Halo’ is out now!