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ep review: jac stone, leave me here

If you’ve been craving a down-to-earth record filled with gentle, catchy guitar melodies and honest lyrics, Jac Stone’s debut is a breath of fresh air.

Leave Me Here is a collection of five laid-back, perfectly constructed tracks that showcase Jac’s strong vocal talent and personal storytelling ability. This is simple, no-frills pop rock at its best, stirring up images of hot summer nights and open-air concerts and white wine shared with friends. And with Powderfinger’s stamp of approval, it might just become something of a local classic.

Originally from Charters Towers and now based in Brisbane, Jac has started to build a reputation on her heartfelt melodies and flawless live performances. Though she’s only 21 and fresh out of university, she’s already performed at Splendour In The Grass, as well as landing an opening slot at one of the Brisbane shows for Powderfinger’s farewell tour.

Though she has made friends who have given her a helping hand along the way (Powderfinger’s Darren Middleton played electric guitar on the EP, and co-produced it with Yanto Browning) listening to her impassioned vocal delivery and slickly-constructed melodies, there is no doubt her success has been driven by her raw talent.

There’s a real confidence and maturity in Jac’s songwriting. Stripped of fancy tricks and overdramatics, she lays bare personal narratives of love, sadness and everything in between, providing a little peek inside her world without giving too much away.

‘River’ is probably the standout track, with its energetic ‘I’m a river, I run’ mantra inspiring an upbeat sort of fearlessness. Contrast that with the title track, ‘Leave Me Here’, which  shows her more vulnerable side as she hints at inner demons hindering a relationship (‘I know that you hate this, when she doesn’t let me sleep when you are near.’) She spans across a broad spectrum of feelings with great subtlety and maturity that is quite impressive, and definitely refreshing.

There’s really very little to fault about Jac’s quiet but undeniably touching debut. It’s sensitive, thoughtful, confident and slick- and it makes a real statement without sounding like it’s trying. She might be just starting out, but Jac is a real professional- and it’s this, combined with her delicate acoustic guitar and heartfelt vocal delivery, that makes this EP feel really memorable.

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