Jenny Colquitt - Without You
Having released enough original material over the past few years to fill a two hour set at 229 recently, it was an unexpected surprise to receive a new single from Jenny Colquitt quite so soon. Her quantity threshold is only matched by her one for quality, with nothing released unless it meets a required standard.
Her latest song "Without You" sets new heights in her songwriting - a successful songwriter needs to stir an emotion within the listener and this latest song does exactly that both musically and lyrically.
The sombre yet beautiful piano introduction almost announces that something important is to be shared and so it proves to be - the first words almost echo the opening of "Nothing Compares To U". It is also a phrase used by those abstaining from something where they remember exactly how long it has been to the minute since they last partook, however here it is not nicotine, drugs or alcohol that is being sorely missed.
"It’s been seventeen days, since you flew,
Over those hills, we both knew.
Tied up inside, let me loose,
I’m not the same, without you."
Jenny's vocals have a total purity about them, they could not be sung any other way - it is simply perfect.
This is a song of adjusting to the ultimate loss, the exact relationship in the song is never explained but then it does not need to be - it is a universal feeling - each persons feelings at this time are unique although we can assume the relationship to be very close for in the second verse, the reality of having to carry on is addressed.
"I went through the papers in your room,
Written in gold, I love you.
Send me some signs, I’ll let them through.
I need to be ok without you."
Those final two lines are quite heartbreaking, that wish for reassurance that their loved one is in a better place contrasted against the realism that life must go on, both seem so intensely real that they can only have been drawn from personal experience
The song is played out as a conversation, once again Jenny has put her finger on another part of the human condition
"You heard I’ve been crying,
You heard I’ve been lying, and I don’t know why,
If there is a Father, bathe me in holy water and let me drown,
I know one day I’ll turn this ship around."
The first visit to the chorus sees the addition of the most minimal yet vital piece of percussion and on it's conclusion some synth strings give proceedings the additional gravitas the song demands. The second journey to the chorus builds to a crescendo reinforcing the persons belief in that final line = that they know that they will eventually come through this. The final visit to the chorus sees just Jenny and the piano achingly play out the opening two lines.
It is four minutes of pure emotion - not a note or word is out of place and it is exquisitely performed, It is surely the result of a lot of hard effort and dedication to create such a marvellous piece of work.