In most musical careers, the debut album tends to lay bare the soul of the artist as she introduces herself to the world, its songs created from a real life still pure and unencumbered by any spotlight or harsh exposure. Jade Jackson, however, has chosen to flip that tandem on its head, and with her second full-length, Wilderness, she casts a light more focused on her own life than ever before.
From Wilderness’s opening blast “Bottle It Up” to its closing whisper, “Secret,” it’s clear that Jackson’s music delivers on multiple powerful levels. Written to the beat of her own feet’s pace while jogging, the opener is a standout upbeat number that reveals Jackson’s ability to be deep and breezy all at once. The twangy guitar and whip-smart backbeat propel the tune and the album that follows with ease and tarnished grace. One of “Bottle It Up”’s subjects appears again in the title and tale of “Loneliness,” a slow-burning, tender ballad about Jackson’s own heartrending battle with those feelings.
Whether holding down the buoy of your feelings or holding up a mirror to your life, self-examination and reflection is no easy undertaking, especially when mining your darkest moments for material to put into song. With Wilderness, Jade Jackson has braved the depths of her soul and figured out a course for survival—though she will be the first to admit that her journey still has miles to go.