“All Alone Without U” by Jack Pfeffer
Just like he sings in the first few stanzas in “All Alone Without U” singer – songwriter Jack Pfeffer presents a day of dreaming, an open-diary dedicated to feelings of love. “Stereo, the record turns / it’s late morning / I’m feeling fine” he croons. Pfeffer puts his listener in the front and center and his connection to his audience is remarkably subtle. In other words, “All Alone Without U” feels like Pfeffer is singing his heart out to a community, not just one person.
Much like Billie Eilish, Pfeffer has this soft-spoken, almost hush voice. He’s not as dramatic as Eilish, but he’s quite poignant. As a listener, I felt his vocals were overshadowed by rich guitar workings and a tip-toeing electronic music bed. The beat of this song is slow and drawn-out. His words, his voice is clear as day, but the longing can be heard in his vocals. He has this undeniable spark, one that is not as bright as a pop star like Eilish, but certainly in the same atmosphere. Pfeffer’s musicality is tight and the guitar sings just as much as he does. At times I thought there were going to be some wanderings, even different layers of sounds, and he really kept in his lane.
Pfeffer, who hails from Minneapolis, Minn., is everything that makes indie music so inviting. He’s not trying to be anything he’s not and the modest production, humbled vocals might be Midwestern-esque. He’s not brash. I can surmise he’s probably written many songs during the frigid Twin Cities winters and “All Alone Without U” is one song that sets the tone for soul-searching. It can at times feel isolating. Its music bed also reminded me, at times, of falling snowflakes and the sounds they might make hitting windows. Still the sun shines in winter, and the guitar breaks through the grays much like the rays of light filter through the clouds. At first listen one might think this is a sad song, but I found it very comforting. It’s a silent joy and the beauty is in the song’s simplicity.
The way he expresses himself in this song is an artistic achievement for such a young (sounding) artist. The road he paves in this track is one that allows that listener to wander around in their own mind, find their own interpretation. After a few listens, you start to hear different nuances in his voice, a tweak in the guitar you didn’t notice the first time. I think hearing this song in a live setting would be just as powerful. It’s a universal feeling – wanting to belong, being around someone that gives you confidence. Pfeffer doesn’t use these words, per se, but his heartfelt message rings true in many ways.
Fans of Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes, Desaparecidos), Billie Eilish, fellow Minnesotan Owl City, The Postal Service and even some folk rock fans will dig Pfeffer. He definitely has talent. “All Alone Without U” receives high marks for a well-produced and memorable song.