Fusing pop melodies with a laidback swing, Taylor Jules lights up the underground in her single “Helicopter,” and it’s getting a lot of attention this winter. The aspiring singer/songwriter’s voice is presented to us in its prime, ethereally woven into an emotionally-charged instrumental pattern of ebbing harmonies that are unforgettable and reverberating in the master mix.
Jules hasn’t reached the pinnacle of success yet, and though her journey is far from over, she touches on creative ground that even the harshest of critics will have difficulty ignoring in this tuneful and rather empowering piece on love, romance, and the place where our hearts get lost in between.
In the big picture, the percussion that drives this song is somewhat understated, especially in juxtaposition with the piano parts and the pointed vocal attack from Jules herself. That said, “Helicopter” doesn’t put all of the emphasis on its star performer’s divine crooning alone; the backdrop has a sway over the mood here as well, and though some elements are a bit quieter than others, each player is working in perfect synchronicity as a unit here, making the song feel like more of a collective effort by a group than a solo offering exclusively.
It must be said that while no element fails to pull its weight in this recording, the piano parts are easily the richest layer of sound to be studied besides the vocal. They flow evenly with the verse, and in the scattered moments of separation between the bass and drums, the piano introduces a shot of adrenaline that keeps the song from devolving into a straight-up elegy. To me, this sort of multidimensional style of attack is exactly why Jules could win over fans of rock, country, pop, and R&B right now.
Everything here centers on the cathartic serenade of Jules, from the tempo of the drums to the stagger of the keys that leads us into the closing verses. As previously noted, it doesn’t steal all of the spotlight in the single, but there’s no debating the vocal track’s prowess and sophisticated sway amid the instrumentation during the chorus. She doesn’t need a lot of bells and whistles in the background to get comfortable in the studio; all Jules needs is a microphone and a beat to get us where we need to be.
“Helicopter” is acerbic and emotional, and though it’s one of many stunners that this burgeoning age for pop music has to its credit, this song has the energy of a breakthrough smash that could bring Jules out of the underground and into the mainstream once and for all. This single tells us a story not only through its imaginative prose but through its detailed tonality, and while it wouldn’t be true to say that she is the only artist thinking outside of the box nowadays, Taylor Jules is exhibiting a strain of creativity that few of her contemporaries are these days. That creativity is artfully captured in “Helicopter,” and I highly recommend giving it your attention this January.