Jazmina – In Our Time EP review

The tinderbox roof-raising house heroics which have cemented Jazmina’s stellar club reputation down the years are put on pause in this quality five-track EP, packed tight with emotional pull and resonance.

In Our Time is a pearler of a package, that’s at once very much in our time and of our time. Its winter 2021 release – and in mind of the stuff everyone’s dealing with at this particularly fractious juncture doesn’t need labouring much further – is properly timely indeed. In Our Time brings our precious friend – time – to your door, to think deep and draw big, restorative breaths.

Lyrically and musically, the lead track flickers for the listener with a mindful, candlelit, slow-burn lure. Its gentle pace and simple melody light that very same candle for the timeless, object lessons which underpin the craft of good songwriting. What you receive in return has the plaintive quality of a childhood prayer; it’s an invocation to keep on keeping on as those struggles will – yes they will – ebb away, laced with the shy buds of spring just around the corner, promising renewal.

This EP is a prize proponent of those unshakable virtues of strong songs, where the strength is to be found in their seeming simplicity. That quality runs strongly from song one to five – start to finish and then back again, with Jazmina’s rich voice showcasing its spiritual soulful ache in every heartfelt lyric.

All five tracks take a bow as bossa-folk-infused melodic earworms – think Terry Callier and the early ‘70s Linda Lewis folk-soul school at their finest if you’re taking notes – that will pleasingly resonate on repeat through your day.

Track two Daylight takes a concerned, self-critical peer into the voids of widening silence and regret as a relationship shows its cracks. Then as the sun comes up the next morning, Peace in our Town shakes itself off to grab the new day with spring-like zest, a capricious skip down the street peppered with jaunty positivity.

The haunting introspections of Jazmina’s voice drive Travelling, with this bossa’s minor keys drawing on the timeless spirits of Jobim and Brazilian guitar great Luis Bonfa, while sensitive background vocals breathily snake across the peaceful piece.

At once stripped down, acoustic and percussive – the power of Jazmina’s vocal presence draws you in ever further on Hard for Me. The harmonised chorus lends a sympathetic ear, as the push-and-pull of love and doubt find a melodic outlet to wage their own internalised battle on this unmissable five-gem set.

Jazmina – In Our Time is released on February 1st 2021 and is available here