I love the power a mandolin can give, especially when in the hands of a talented singer-songwriter. This is true with Irish singer-songwriter Jake Kelly. His new EP, ‘The Mandolin Tapes’, creates a beautiful atmosphere and a minimalist approach.
There are some cultural points on the EP that I really like. For instance, the harmonies on ‘Here We Are, Lost Again’ are really beautiful. I love them because, along with the tabla, they show that he draws influence from world music. It’s really refreshing because he’s got a determination to explore new sounds.
The EP covers Jake’s transition in moving from Ireland to Germany. It was hard for him, falling into severe depression and drinking problems. ‘Peaks and Valleys’ encapsulates these feelings because you can feel the emotions in Jake’s voice. You can hear his determination to get out of this rut, and when listening to it, you believe that he can.
I thoroughly enjoyed ‘The Mandolin Tapes’ because it shows Jake Kelly’s promise and undeniable talent. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more from him soon.
Words by Ermis Madikopoulos