Weekly EP: Aaron Kraus proves worth on ‘Jade’

For artists, Nashville has become a Mecca of sorts. Every day, new artists flock onto the scene in an attempt to strike gold. With many outlets to perform, record and release music, it can seem like the perfect opportunity to prosper. For Aaron Krause, this sentiment certainly rings true. When the St. Louis native relocated, the young singer-songwriter refined his skills and began producing striking niche music. Delving deep into the realm of alternative-pop/rock music, similarities can be drawn between him and bands like Muse.

On his latest release, titled “Jade,” Krause finds himself producing some of his best music to date. Certainly creative, the 23-year-old artist blends soft vocals with electronic synths. This blend, which creates the type of enveloping atmosphere that has become so popular, adds Krause to a growing list of singers seeking out new and exciting directions.

On “I Will Wait,” Krause presents listeners with his most impressive track. Contrasting pure vocals with zapping, vibrant instrumentals, Krause demonstrates why he should become a drawing force. Rousing and filled with heart and determination, “I Will Wait” is Krause’s closest move towards occupying an unsaturated niche.

With “Jade,” intimate tranquility takes center stage. From airy vocals to a far more simple beat, the calming mood produced by the song distinguishes it from the rest of the EP.

Peaceful and enjoyable, every moment of “Jade” is as pleasing as the next and certainly one of Krause’s most accomplished pieces to date. “Jade” is beautiful.

“Honey, Fire (Alt)” takes Krause’s sound toward the electro-R&B direction. Similar to music recently released by The Weeknd, the track is a heavily produced masterpiece. Through its hollow echoes and snare-filled beats, the song gleams like a well-polished appliance. Performing as one of the most compelling tracks off of the record, “Honey, Fire (Alt)” is a beneficial addition to Krause’s portfolio.

“Love Alive” is perhaps the EP’s most forgettable track. Too close to the sound of other performers, something about this song is almost too simple and forlorn. Sleepy and undistinguishable, it does its job of concluding an otherwise impressive collection. But what is missing is too noticeable to end the EP properly.

Ultimately, Aaron Krause’s latest EP “Jade” is an enjoyable and entertaining listen. While perhaps not the most original piece of work, most of the record is a step in the right direction. Where “Jade” has its successes, Krause is able to cover less memorable parts with interesting enough tracks worth listening to.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5