2. For You
Though Jade & the Stagger Swallows is a relatively new band to hit the Hong Kong music scene, its members, however, are not. Its members may constantly be rotating, but the Fallen EP was recorded by a three-piece consisting of frontwoman Tiff Laue, Vickie Chan, and Gabe Andre (along with guests Paul Lam and Arthur Urquiola), all of which are regular names in the local scene.
Beginning with an appropriate indie-pop melody, “Gargamel” kicks off the EP by setting up a get-up-and-dance mood, almost like HK’s own version of She & Him. “For You” is a little slower and country-like, thanks to the prevalence of the harmonica that comes in during the bridge, but things pick up quickly enough as succeeding that is “Radio”. With its fast-paced beats and twee melody, this track, and “Breathe”, takes on a sound similar to New York City band The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. However, “Breathe” is a little catchier as one may find it easy to whistle along to, and the harmonizing of the vocals during the chorus will definitely find its way into your head soon after listening. “Grey”, a song that consists of nothing but acoustic chords, brings in the bittersweet of Laue’s lyrics. Finally, the closer, “Fallen”, carries some of the Hungry Ghosts-esque elements in guitar, especially near the end of the song. Clocking in at seven minutes, it ends in a long, instrumental outro, which somehow sums up all the feelings of this record perfectly as the final notes of the guitar fades out.
A brilliant release that reflects the indie side of Hong Kong, Jade & the Stagger Swallows may be still considered a “new” band, but they are full of promise for more happy, pop-driven songs that are bound to be stuck in your head.
– Kira Chan