Jax Anderson is pop music’s motivational speaker and everyone’s friend at the same time. When I listen to her sing and watch her perform, I get the sense that she is someone who marches to her own beat and is comfortable with who she is. I’m sure she would contest the latter, as arguably embracing oneself is a lifelong journal for all.
This EP is autobiographical and addresses serious topics, though it never takes itself too seriously. You can see that in the visual for “Heal,” in which Jax can be seen dancing to the song in a barren room and shifting between various states of emotional expression. Witty captions form a narrative of sorts for the video, going so far as to say “don’t worry, Jax isn’t crying.”
This balance of wit and drama reflects the tension between seriousness and lightheartedness, though it isn’t really tension at all when you listen. This EP could be summed as using the joy inherent in music and life itself to cope. “Hard Times” exhortes the listener, as Jax sings “I know, these are gonna be hard times / Don’t you lose your light tonight.”
Jax’s attitude is consistent throughout the EP, whether her vocals are straight up happy go lucky or more reserved. I like how in “Scared to Death” Jax sings in a cadence during the verses, as if she’s softly letting her demons know how it is now – kind of like when you’re in trouble and your parents don’t yell at you – and say how they’re not mad, just disappointed. Only Jax’s tone isn’t one of anger – it’s one of cheer that she’s directing at her insecurities to tell them to get lost, and that’s she’s moving forward.
At the end of the day, this EP is full of straight up bops that are full of depth production-wise, and ready for the pop charts. I love every track, but “Heal” and “Made” are probably my favorites.