My Favorite Interlude of 2023 (so far)

by Dan O

Listening to IRONEYE by ADJA for the first time was a trip. It’s a 5 song debut ep and ADJA is from Brussels, Belgium. Through the first two songs (Told you so & To be naïve) I was stuck in my own head asking questions: Is this too bracingly emotional? Does that make it corny? Is it ham fisted? Why do reviewers say ham fisted so much? Is that just me? When track 3 began my eyes got huge. I stopped what I was doing. Default Mode (interlude) is only a minute and twenty three seconds but it changed the entire IRONEYE experience for me. While the content of IRONEYE is in your face with its mission, the writing matches the delivery. ADJA has a huge voice but the flow of it is in the jaunty style of an Anita O’ Day scat session. The background singing, the raw barbershop quartet feel, is all moving you as the listener to understand how off putting this journey has been for the narrator. If you really listen “I don’t know you, so why should I trust you?!” is everything. After I was done listening to Default Mode I couldn’t wait to finish the project and start again knowing what I had learned. This project is about not having a safety net. So she said things I wouldn’t have said and belted it in a way too vulnerable for my ears. A great interlude is the missing puzzle piece connecting everything before it and after it. The whole project is changed. While most interludes are not this special or unique it is very important to know what a great interlude sounds like and its effect. ADJA reframed my listening and I can’t wait to hear more from her in this jazz/soul/r&b space.

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