Written by Imani Wj Wright
This piece will pull you in several directions.
When I immerse myself between the walls of Jesse Harding's composition, "Box," I find myself only moments away from tears- every time. Before you even have a chance to appreciate Jesse's voice and songwriting, there are guitar lines pulling on your heart. The opening moment's instrumentation sets the doleful landscape of Box.
Acoustic guitars have an emotional effect on the soul, my soul at least... Why is that? I can't give an exact answer, but I can hypothesize that its intrinsic innocence and gentleness leads to those feelings. And, when everything is stripped back, vocals on pieces like "Box" are completely in the forefront. There aren't places where the artist can hide. We get caught within the artist's world of realism and rawness. Jesse makes the audience, somberly, live vicariously through him. This vicarious experience lasts for the entire three minutes and thirty-five seconds we spend with him.
Now, once the piano appears under the guitar, it sculpts the soundscape into an even more pensive and irresolute spot. How should we feel? Happy? Depressed? Mysterious? This is what I meant earlier when I said: "This piece will pull you in several directions." Even the varying inflections in Harding's voice can have you tiptoeing your emotional lines. Quite the minimally dynamic piece.
Take a listen: