Eva Schubert’s no-nonsense attitude shines on the jazzy ‘Hot Damn Romance’
On her new EP “Hot Damn Romance,” Eve Schubert keeps things simple, and it pays off in spades. If you’re a fan of old-school jazz with a few surprising twists mixed in for good measure, you’ll love “Hot Damn Romance.”
There’s no better evidence of this methodology at work than the first single, “Brawler.” It’s structured as a jazz tune complete with the trumpet and guitar complementing her sassy vocals. But, where things get interesting is the chorus, which sounds a bit like Michael Jackson’s classic “Billy Jean.” But while the sound structure is similar, the lyrics are completely Schubert’s.
Describing the lyrics of the track, the Vancouver-based singer/songwriter says, “the lyrics (on ‘Brawler’ are a character description from beginning to end. I don’t really think of it as a love song, but then again it might be!” To me, it takes talent and gravitas to bring your own personality and mix it into such a legendary track’s footprints. Let me repeat, it’s not “Billy Jean,” but, the similarities in the chorus are impossible to deny.
My other favorite track on the EP, the title track, goes in a different direction from “Brawler” while keeping the jazzy undertones present. It’s also got the guitars and trumpet, but is more of a whiz-bang ride that pops with its slam-poetry type vibe. At the end, I pictured Schubert dropping the mic on stage and strutting off stage with a “yeah-I-just-did-that” swagger.
Schubert said for these tracks in particular, she made a concerted effort to perform them using the fundamentals of jazz, inspired by such artists as Billie Holiday or Ella Fitzgerald.
“The essence of this EP is real musicians, playing live in studio together,” She said. “I deliberately avoided electronic sounds because there is something direct and resonant about the musicianship, and we wanted to showcase that. Also, what I think a lot of people love about old school jazz is this very quality of sound, which often gets lost in the jungle of contemporary production. The other characteristic of vintage jazz is fresh and thoughtful lyrics, which is something I tried to bring to this as well.”
If I were to give Ms. Schubert any light constructive criticism, it’s that part of me wishes she showed off her vocal range a bit more. The vocals are good, don’t get me wrong, and the tracks are well-constructed. But, after listening to these five solid tracks, I kept waiting for her to let it rip in a way knocks you on your butt, but it just didn’t come. Not everyone has the vocal skills to do that, but, on an EP like this one, that kind of song would’ve made me fall that much more in love with it.
“Hot Damn Romance” is Schubert’s third release, the latest since her 2017 album “Borderless Sky.” She also released the stand-alone single “I Will” this past May, which was a blues/gospel track. If anything, it seems that Schubert isn’t afraid to experiment, something a lot of artists could stand to try more of these days.