Clandestine beats are everywhere in 2022, and although this has led to an influx in smart club music from both sides of the Atlantic, it’s also producing some interesting results for pop fans around the globe. Take for example the new single “Boys in Jersey” from singer/songwriter Kjersti Long, which blends some of the most endearing elements of the new club movement with something just a bit more foundational and relatable to the casual pop fan. Long might be an outsider to the mainstream market, but she’s operating like an OG in this performance – and setting a standard for herself that is easy to respect.
The minimalist harmony in this track is really epic, and I would even argue that it makes the lyrics here all the more accessible than they would have been in the first place. It will be interesting to hear Long experiment with balladry a little more in the future, as something tells me the formula she employs for this performance would yield some sterling content on the slower side of the pop spectrum as well (especially when taking into account the potency of her lead vocal in this piece).
Lyrically speaking, “Boys in Jersey” is a relatively simplistic piece, and I would even say that the conservative stylization of the verses does a lot to highlight the tonal qualities Kjersti Long has – the best of which have been quite difficult to find on the left side of the dial this season. Her vocal is inviting while her lyricism suggests authenticity, which is much more than can be said for some of her peers in both the underground and the mainstream alike. You might be able to teach music theory, but talent like hers has to come into its own by itself.
Above all else, I think Long deserves a hard round of applause for her work in the music video for “Boys in Jersey,” as it showcases a charisma on her part that is even more endearing than it is in the song on its own. There’s a top-shelf production quality to be enjoyed here, but what’s more is what this player has chosen to do with it. She isn’t pressing the props particularly, but her use of symbolism isn’t lost on even the most casual of viewers, which on its own stands out as a reason to give this video a watch.
There’s no denying that Kjersti Long is still figuring herself out as an artist, but right now she’s got one of the more compelling sounds in her scene and it’s making her new single a worthwhile listen for anyone who embraces alternative pop jams. I don’t think she’s anywhere close to her peak, but the format isn’t something I would recommend her changing at all. This is a look I can see her developing for some time to come, but her efforts will likely see reward long before that of her peers reaches the same level of recognition on the mainstream level.
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