Rather than piling onto a bold beat with melodic vocals as stirring as they are seductive, Jerrica White wants to take things a little slower in her new single “I Don’t Know Who You Are.” She’s in no hurry to bombard the rhythm with a heavenly harmony – truth be told, her execution suggests she has a lot more interest in extending the climax on the other side of the chorus here than she does anything else. She finesses a guitar-born harmony with singing akin to something out of the vintage pop playbook, but her narrative in “I Don’t Know Who You Are” is anything but retro.
White’s voice has an old school sensibility to it, but I would be lying if I said it didn’t have a certain modern angst that tethers its stylization more to the surreal R&B movement than it does any specific throwback culture. She’s a crooner at heart, but her savvy handling of the rhythm would have us believe that she could do anything with her vocal if she wanted to get a certain point across to us. There’s no limit to the emotional output she can wield, and I think that’s especially obvious in a song like this one.
The intensity of White’s delivery is not directed by the instrumental backdrop in “I Don’t Know Who You Are,” but instead the pulse of her own lyricism and what it serves to impart to the audience. There’s an authenticity driving home her words here that doesn’t come from a lot of rehearsing nor revolutionarily connecting with someone else’s poetry – this is hers, in every way that a song can belong to someone, and she isn’t about to have us listen to this single without feeling the beating heart ready to explode out of her chest and onto the studio floor.
Soul isn’t limited to lyrical emissions in this track but instead made to grow from the interactions White has with her backing band. The bluesy sizzle of the lead guitar, in particular, has a dashing contribution to make here, and when coupled with the formidable punch of her verse in the second half of the song, it’s hard to picture this artist working with less of a pressurized environment than she’s taking on in this material. She’s got immense strength as a performer, and there’s seemingly no limit to what it can produce for her in this type of piece.
Jerrica White’s captivating, harmony-based performance in “I Don’t Know Who You Are” makes this single and its companion video a difficult release to put down, but something in my gut tells me that this isn’t a complete embodiment of what she can do when the mood is on her side. She’s got a seamless command over her verses and an experimental edge that could really do some incredible things if put to work for her in the right way, and just going off of what she’s already done in this new song, I’d say it’s only going to get better from here.
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