“Helplessly I Fell” (SINGLE) by Jim Lord
In the new single “Helplessly I Fell,” the strings on a rustic acoustic guitar engage in a simplistic dance with Jim Lord’s vocal rather plainly, but the harmony that they conjure up together is anything but forgettable. There’s a kinship between the instrumentation and the verses in this track that isn’t wholly created by the structure of the rhythm; in fact, I would even suggest that there’s something rather spiritual transpiring in “Helplessly I Fell,” which is easily one of the more boldly evocative songs you’re going to find when browsing through the tracklist of Lord’s Little Star album. Here, this singer/songwriter is putting tonality before everything else, bucking minimalist trends but refuting the very notion of overindulging in his brightest sonic attributes; in a nutshell, Jim Lord is distinguishing himself as a go-to folk/rock veteran in this latest release, and proving to the world that although he’s five LPs deep into his career, he isn’t about to start slowing down for anything. On the contrary, it looks like we’re going to be hearing some of his best work to date in 2020.
Everything from the cadence of the verses to the construction of the main hook in this song is built upon the foundation of the strings, and personally I think this was quite a wise decision to make on Lord’s part. There has been a highly noticeable spike in vocal-driven folk music over the last couple of years, particularly in the alternative community, but “Helplessly I Fell” isn’t relying on powerful poetry alone in its mission to win our hearts and, ultimately, introduce a new generation of fans to the magic that is the Jim Lord discography.
The master mix is sporting a fantastic attention to detail, allowing for all of the individual elements in the track to share a bit of the spotlight – if only for a fleeting moment – and by the time that the music ceases to play, we don’t feel as though we’ve just experienced a one-sided compositional effort by any means. There’s a lot that could be done with this song in a live setting, which is definitely where artists like Lord tend to have the biggest impact.
Whether you’ve been listening to his music for the past four decades or are just now getting into his sound for the very first time via Little Star, Jim Lord’s “Helplessly I Fell” is a single that you just can’t go wrong with if you love folk/rock crossovers with a slight bend towards Americana. This is one singer/songwriter who has never backed down from a challenge in or out of the studio (just see the pair of live albums that he released in the 2010s for evidence of his live talents), and in 2020, he’s making it abundantly clear to any and all who are listening that his music is going to remain relevant into the next chapter in his storied genre’s history. I’ll be staying tuned for more, and I think you would be wise to do the same.
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