Sibling tandems are a long-standing tradition in nearly every style of popular music since the dawn of the form. History is rife with this for good reason. The best among them is often distinguished by shared genetic gifts so exceptional that their accomplishments are major threads in the popular music tapestry. Sisters J, Elisabeth and Lily Jackson, are poised to join their ranks.
It is a bold statement to make given such a thin discography. The Nashville, Tennessee sisters, however, are blessed with precocious musical and vocal chops necessary for such a claim and the songwriting choices they have thus far made buttress their stake to greatness. The secret sauce giving it all such a distinctive flavor, however, is the mastery of root fundamentals in their music allowing them to go anywhere they like and coax listeners into following.
Their new song “Clearly” clearly demonstrates that gift. Incorporating their voices against polished and uptempo backing. The backing driven by strong electronic percussion and a smattering of guitar is the first of several shrewd moves. Structuring the sister’s vocal harmonies is, however, the song’s crowning achievement as their seamless interplay is the obvious burning heart of the performance.
The tempo remains measured, however, for the duration of the song. The sisters benefit from outstanding production that frames their talents and song’s strengths in the most compelling and entertaining way possible. It isn’t difficult to hear why each sister has a trail of laurels already behind them – Lily recently graduated salutatorian and has placed high in national competitions while sister Elisabeth recently graduated with a Honor’s degree in Musical Education. Sisters J has surrounded themselves with the incredible talent of people like famous music producer Ted “Theo” Perlman to team up on their amazing new single Clearly.
It doesn’t divorce them, however, from connecting with listeners. The Sisters J use their training and chops as an avenue for improving their connections with audiences rather than allowing it to become an impediment. No one can accuse them of chasing after a cliched Nashville sound, as well, with “Clearly” embracing a thoroughly pop sound, albeit rocked up a little. It’s geared to play to the broadest of possible audiences, as well, rather than sounding tailored for a niche-specific market.
Their previous singles hinted at larger ambitions. They are broaching new territory, however, without sacrificing their personal beliefs and success arriving on their own terms rather than what society asks of them. It is satisfying to hear two supremely skilled young singers wading into the modern music world and finding their way with a sound that cuts across borders, class, color, and creed.
It doesn’t appeal to the lowest common denominator. The melodic substantiveness of the piece, the dramatic musical changes built into the arrangement, and the crowning touch of two superlative singers are enough to make the Sisters J’s “Clearly” one of the best pop singles of 2022 and promises even greater glories for them in the near future. They are carving themselves out a place in the modern music world that no one will challenge, and astute listeners will follow from this point forward. Anyone who enjoys five-star singing is advised to do the same.