Strangers In Fairyland begins with “Cinderella” sweeping in like a crisp autumn wind, with attitude rustling through the speakers like colorful leaves rolling down the street. With powerful vocals, stunningly well-crafted instrumentals, and a rock and roll vibe, Jocelyn Arndt will entrance listeners from the opening notes. Much later, “Hitman” carries a similar attitude, with in-your-face vocals, flare that sticks out like silver studs on a leather jacket, and transient instrumentals that smooth the abrupt change from soft, emotional songs back to more riled up tracks like this.
Maintaining the flavorful classic, edgy guitar, mixed perfectly with sinfully soulful vocals, Jocelyn and Chris Arndt prove they are a force to be reckoned with, and will leave most seasoned rock bands green with envy (at least that’s in time for Halloween), with “One Kiss.” It’s a scorchingly bold track, with a hauntingly provocative quality to it (see also “Icebreaker V2”). Immediately providing a contrast, “Lullaby” has a 90’s vibe to it, with a tone reminiscent of The Cranberries (…if they had a very talented lovechild with a more punk band like Saving Ferris or Letters to Cleo). Jocelyn showcases a versatility to her vocals while exploring different runs, really rounding out her repertoire, especially when accompanied by soft piano. However, even when fading into an edgier instrumental, it doesn’t detract from the overall vulnerability and softness of the track, which is a difficult feat for any artist, never mind when it occurs on a debut EP. Driven by cinematic piano and rhythm, “Gaslight,” the EP’s big finish, has a cabaret/jazz sleekness to it that utilizes some of the similar qualities seen on “Lullabies,” especially in regards to versatility.
“Nevermind” is soulful, heart wrenching, and all in all, a stunning addition to Strangers In Fairyland. If you’ve ever searched for a song that perfectly captures what it’s like to be madly in love with someone who considers you their best friend, this may be it. Without sounding destroyed or feeling like the world is over, our heroine knows she’ll go on after this person, with or without this love. But there is a silent beauty behind every line; a sadness that is all-consuming, even for the strongest person. As the guitar wails and hits the bridge, it seems to sing alongside Arndt, making the track a stand-out on an already incredible EP.
Between the classic sound, perfectly delivered wit and attitude, and raw power, it’s impossible to resist Strangers In Fairyland. As a debut EP, the only way to describe it is to relate it to the leather-jacket-wearing cool kid that graced every film in the 90s. This is the boy leaning against the stone wall, taking a drag on his cigarette, and looking effortlessly mysterious. This is the picturesque woman that sits at the bar alone, but could not care less, and looks more confident and comfortable than anyone else in the room surrounded by people. In short, despite being the “new kid on the block,” Jocelyn Arndt’s debut is proof that she already possesses many of the talents that a plethora of artists could only begin to covet.
For more on Jocelyn Arndt, please click HERE.
Strangers In Fairyland is out NOW.