Being able to part ways with his major record label and go independent may be one of the best things to have happened to Jacob Whitesides. Creatively it’s allowed him to hone his craft and find who he is as an artist in the most raw and authentic way possible. While it has hindered his trajectory, he’s been able to solidify his foundations so that now the next step he makes in the industry is as impactful as possible.
‘Colors’ is his first EP since the release of his debut album ‘Why’ in 2016 and hears a major growth in maturity and artistic direction. This compact collection of tracks provides a teaser into the evolution of his artistry and with most of these tracks already being previously released as singles over the past year, the surprise factor for the fans is a little low. But what it successfully does is show the curation of the direction he wants to go in for people that may have not been following his journey up until now. It packs a real punch and as a tailored listen it’s very impressive.
‘Whole’ was the lead single to this rebranding and built a smooth and dreamy production that showed a very slick delivery. Mixing in some cool electronic samples, he builds this song up to be a really polished track full of experimentation and has a slick retrospective vibe to it. Leading into the angsty and electronically charged ‘Special’ he questions why his ex had to make him feel so special and make him believe in a future. This song further experimented with his DIY production and highlighted a gritty and forward thinking innovation.
Stripping things back into croon territory, ‘Faking In Love’ layers DIY beats over smooth harmonies while ‘The Letter’ is raw and hones in on his blues influences. These are the emotionally charged moments of the EP which show an authentic side of him without all the bells and whistles.
The only previously unreleased track on this collection is the experimental ‘Don’t Even Fight’ which is one that will pleasantly surprise people. Highlighting some gospel influences this track layers some broken down beats that have a very intricate approach. It’s a song that deserves to be listened to through headphones so you can really soak in the moody aesthetic he’s created within the song.
To counteract the lack of surprise with the track listing, he’s recorded exclusive acoustic versions of ‘Whole’, ‘Special’, ‘Faking In Love’ and ‘Don’t Even Fight’ as a direct gift to his fans. These intimate re-structures of the songs embody a wholesome touch and sonically shows another side to him.