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Jack Garratt 'Phase' review

Jack Garratt proves why he's tipped for the top in 2016 with this debut splurge of soaring electro-pop - Ben Smith reviews.

Ben Smith

Last updated: 24th Mar 2016

Image: Jack Garratt

Electronic music is becoming ever more prevalent in pop music and musical maverick Jack Garratt has latched onto that trend magnificently with his debut record Phase. 

You may have seen a viral article a few months back in a local Buckinghamshire newspaper about a young musician who was hoping to represent the UK at junior Eurovision.

That musician was Jack Garratt at 13 years old. He may have missed out on his European bow, but peaking BBC's Sound of 2016 and bagging the Critic's Choice award a decade later is a seismic leap in comparison.

Through honing his craft into an a electro-pop splurge, Garratt is as genre defiant as they come. As soulful as he is urban, glitchy electronic soundscapes often bleed into staggered piano notes and pensive, otherworldly passages.

Jack's voice is equally prolific in disparity: moving from soaring pop on 'Worry' to a James Blake-esque hush on 'The Love You're Given'.   

The most intriguing usage in his soundscapes is the sub-bass frequencies that infuse the album on 'Fire', 'Coalesce (Synesthesia pt II) or 'Chemical'. 

It's clear that the Skream and Benga reign circa 2008 wasn't a passing trend, as the genre continues to crop up into popular music and Garratt harnesses it to magnificent effect. 

The string arrangements and brushes of ambience are also spectacular thought the record. 'Weathered' is a prime example, opening with an orchestral roar and slipping into a dreamy strings as Jack yearns about growing old. 

His ability to flit between contrasting textures and build abstract melodies is undoubtedly the albums cornerstone.

Whether caressing the simmered falsetto moments like on 'My House Is Your Home' or building to the emphatic moments of 'Weathered' - this album has more than proven why Jack's multifaceted approach to music has earned him the spotlight for 2016. 

Read: Ten albums we can't wait to hear in 2016