There’s stress in the vocal David King Jones is putting up in the new single “The Covid 19 Christmas Song,” currently out everywhere independent R&B is sold and streamed, but it’s the sort of stress that inspires emotionality in a harmony more than tension in a beat. Jones is putting everything out on the table for us to consider with his words – the pandemic, the economy, the presence of anxiety in all of our lives – but in the melodic backdrop he constructs, there’s something far more cerebral and thought-provoking working its way into focus from the moment we press the play button on this song forward.
Jones’ voice and the relationship it has with the minor-key melodies in the background aside, there’s something about the rhythm of this track that makes it seem as though everything is moving in broken synchronicity – and just a touch faster than it really should be. We’re on the edge of our seats in the chorus as the gentle nudge of the percussion gives way to a churning bassline, but amidst all of the discord Jones is keeping his cool and staying the calm focus of the single through every beat.
I’m not going to say that “The Covid 19 Christmas Song” is conventional in any of the ways it should or potentially could be; this track is just too unique a document as it relates to quarantine pop, modern R&B, seasonal music and even the current-day indie pulse for me to say as much. David King Jones is definitely someone that I will have to hear again in order to get a better handle on who he is and what kind of a musician he wants to be, but in this performance, he shows me he has a lot more flexibility and muscle than many of his major label contemporaries do at the moment.
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