Album Review: Stone Jets – What I Say

Stone Jets’ latest EP What I Say is a vibrant montage of afro-pop bliss. Straddling genres like soul, blues, and rock, the Cape Town-based band churns-out a blend of feel-good, foot-tapping afro-pop-rock that is up-beat and contagiously catchy.

With self-discovery at its core, the EP expresses what the band has to say for itself. What I Say can be seen as their “CV into the industry”, or rather, “what we sound like live.” As bassist and vocalist, Given Nkanyane, and lead guitarist, Manfred Klose, put it, What I Say “highlights the joys and woes of being a young twenty-something who has a purpose in life”.

From the opening track, you’re immediately immersed in a maelstrom of cosmopolitan rock as colourful as Cape Town’s City Bowl.

Feeling Good, has a gorgeous ringing guitar tone and soulful vocals that embody its introspective, and somewhat moving, narrative about what could have been: “My home is with the blues, and I ain’t leaving home; I knew you wouldn’t take me back.”

This sets the scene for the stand-out track, Hurricane, which launches the EP in earnest. The silky guitar intro coaxes you in, and its only seconds until Nkanyane’s vocals sweep you off your feet.

Imagine, Something Good, and title-track, What I Say, are more of the same lively infused pop-rock. Klose’s kaleidoscopic guitar licks are bright and jangly, while Nkanyane’s vocals are amplified by an effervescent aura and distinctively soulful voice, which draws parallels between singer-songwriter Ben Harper and Adam Levine of Maroon 5 fame.

The cluster of mellowed-down ballads, Take A Look At Me and Telegraph, reveal an intimate and sophisticated side to the band, which showcases their dynamic song-writing prowess.

What I Say successfully exhibits the Jets’ simplistic and charming portfolio of afro-pop, but a full-length album may be the answer to carving out an even more clear-cut sound. One thing’s for sure, we’ll be keeping a watchful eye on Stone Jets.

Listen/buy What I Say here.

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