Jason Kerrison is a singer/songwriter and producer hailing from Auckland, New Zealand. He has already enjoyed huge success in his native country with his band Opshop, winning numerous prestigious awards. Amongst many achievements, he was the first artist to have the number one single and album on Itunes whilst being number one in the NZ album charts. Since then he has formed another group, The Babysitters’ Circus, who were also successful.
The single Never Leave You Again is his first release as a solo artist with a 6 track EP to be released in 2014 also. It is an upbeat, very well crafted pop/rock song that begins with just voice and acoustic guitar. It deceives the listener into thinking this may be an acoustic ballad in the style of early Ed Sheeran but bursts into life on the first bridge. It is a very effective dynamic.
Kerrison has a strong, earthy voice that manages to be commercial without being generic, and the same thing could be said about the whole song, which has been produced to perfection. Though it is a solo release, there is some accomplished musicianship backing him up, and the overall sound is not too dissimilar to one of New Zealand’s finest exports, Crowded House.
Like Neil Finn, songwriter for that band, Kerrison writes effortlessly memorable songs that seem almost tailor made for radio. Lyrically, Never Leave You Again is about the insecurity at the heart of a close relationship, Kerrison asking plaintively “What would you say if I told you I didn’t feel a thing?” The construction of the song is excellent, building nicely from verse to bridge before landing the catchy chorus hook. Kerrison howling “You’ll never leave me!” as it heads into the middle section is a great moment, and his singing is superb in general.
Overall, this is an excellent choice for a single and I found myself humming it after only a couple of listens. Whilst continued success in New Zealand is more than likely, I think Jason Kerrison’s music has a universal appeal and timeless quality that could mean his success could become global, provided he gains the right exposure. Coming from a band background is often the platform to becoming a huge solo star, and Jason Kerrison has everything it takes.
Verdict:8.5 out of 10