Prelude To Greatness?

on October 27, 2014
9.3
Chasing Jonah will sing you into the winter with cinematic pop that will astound.

And now my friends you are in for a treat!  It is inevitable that as we journey through the cloud that we will encounter a talent that is clearly bubbling under with the force potential of a volcano fit to erupt.  I don’t tend towards hyperbole, well, not on here but Chasing Jonah has all the ingredients of art in ascendancy.
Ashley Dudukovich – trading as the band Chasing Jonah does not sound a Floridian.  That’s not a slight on a state renowned for oranges but Orlando based Dudukovich could as easily be from the hippest corner of London.
Her sound has all the elements of 2014 London pop chic – direct lyrics, a melodic sense very much of now and a voice that is not content to sit back in the mix but inclined to captivate.  This debut is sublime.  Pray, click the play button while I prattle on…

Prelude is almost the perfect tale of a 21st century music project.  Successfully raising $15,000 last autumn to fund the project from 275 Kickstarter supporters means that an average of $55 was donated.  That’s quite the achievement in and of itself and shows that the the democratisation of music through the Internet is a real phenomenon.
One wonders why such a performance didn’t have major labels salivate at this artist’s prospects but perhaps Chasing Jonah’s go-getter attitude shows that the irrelevancy of A&R and the industry in 2014.
So what have we got?  An eclectic and cinematic collection of songs that are diverse stylistically but have more continuity than they deserve care of Dudokovich’s vocals.
Cinematic.  Yes.  A cliché in reviews but only because it’s often true.  If not one copy of Prelude is sold then there is surely a place for any of these songs in soundtracks.  They are each quite good at painting a visual scene – Miss Lorraine is stylish blues.  One is put into a Chicago speak easy enjoying an illicit cocktail with it’s ginormous horn sections and sassy singing.
Run sets a sense of pace an immediacy and romance that would give a credible back drop to the inevitable seen were the male lead has messed up and is suddenly aware of his errors.
The production and arrangements of all these tracks is perfection never distracting from Dudokich’s vocals giving lyrics great context.  The musicians behind this project showed great sensitivity – check How – a subtle piano with a faint violin whip up a melancholic atmosphere that truly brings the song into your mind.
There’s a lot of personality in the lyrics of these songs, they must be based on true stories.  Only One I’d Sing To is so loaded with emotion I challenge you to listen to it without having a weepy moment.
This is an outstanding collection of songs.  I’m not sure the description of Prelude as Indie Rock is correct.  I think there’s a lot more going on here.  The only criticism I’d offer here is that there is an opportunity for Chasing Jonah to look at edgier pop as there is much by way of mid tempo and balladry here.  There is potential for this band to up the tempo.
All in all this is an astonishing debut and lucky folk in the USA can perhaps catch the band or Dudokovich in solo mode across fall and winter.  What better soundtrack is there to savor changing seasons and browning trees?

The Breakdown

Production and arrangement
10
Singing Heartstring pulling quotient
10
Listenability
8