Premiere: Jade MacRae continues to soar with new single, Midnight Air
The soaring, gospel-infused new single is the latest taste of her new record, following on from I Choose Love earlier this year.B
Back in February this year, we were honoured with the opportunity to talk about Jade MacRae, someone who thanks to work spread across the last 15 years, has been dubbed somewhat of the Australian 'queen of soul'. It's a tall-standing accolade deserving of the New South Wales musician, who is not only celebrated in the public eye - she's a multiple ARIA Award nominee and APRA Award winner - but also behind-the-scenes, working on some of the country's biggest cultural projects from blockbuster movie soundtracks to live vocals behind some of the country's most esteemed and established musicians.
When we last met, we were introducing the world to her latest single I Choose Love, which as we said on release, "is a quick-firing combination of soul and R&B that packs the energy of the genre's old heyday - the dancing 60s and 70s - but brought forward to the modern era; a jazz-like infusion of brass and vocals swirling amongst dancing melodies that never quite lose their emphasis for passion and fiery soul that has become the backbone for her music no matter how many times its textures and energies have grown."
It's something that continues - albeit in a bit of a different way - with Jade MacRae's latest single too, premiering on Pilerats today ahead of its greater release tomorrow. Midnight Air is a step away from Jade MacRae's past work, plucking out the emotive intensity of songs like I Choose Love and drawing it out to five minutes of potent soul and gospel, rich with the songwriting and vocal skillset that has made MacRae such a prevalent name in Australian music's upper echelon.
Above a stripped-back production that emphasises MacRae's vocal rather than battles it for the spotlight, Jade MacRae is at her vocal peak; her voice rising and falling as the single draws longer, joined by a gospel-like harmonies that really add to the rich indulgence of the single's slow-swaying movements. "The backing vocals on this song give me goosebumps every time," she agrees. "There is something so visceral and raw that brings me almost to tears when I hear their voices together."
Much like I Choose Love and further tracks from her forthcoming record (which we'll talk about shortly), Midnight Air was heavily inspired by a trip to the US; Midnight Air feeling a little more heart-pulling when you reflect on the track's creation and meaning at a time where much of the country battles COVID-19. "This is another song written after my trip to New Orleans. I decided to incorporate elements of the New Orleans funeral march as I was starting to come out of the grief of my marriage ending and feel some kind of light at the end of the tunnel," she says.
"I was right at the interface where optimism meets depression, and I felt myself being pulled back and forth wildly. The sense of loss was overwhelming, but the weight that had lifted from me was dizzying. It was a very surreal and strange time, full of conflict and confusion," she continues, before elaborating on the single's creation, and the connections she built crafting the greater album its hosted on. "The greatest thing about making this album, was the deep connection I got to experience, working with almost all of my closest friends and long term collaborators, and both my parents. Bringing everyone together brought me more joy than I can put into words - I feel completely humbled and grateful for all the amazing contributions that have made this album what it is."
Arriving with an official video clip directed by Alex Serkey and MacRae herself, Midnight Air will join I Choose Love on Jade MacRae's next album Handle Me With Care, expected later this year. In the meantime, however, dive into Midnight Air and its official video clip ahead of its greater release tomorrow:
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