Save Yourself by JXCKSON is a bold alt-pop track with creative and experimental sample use and nice vocal effects. It tells the story of a turning point in an artist’s life, understanding that unrequited attention and effort in all its forms can drain you emotionally. After spending too much energy, and prioritising the wrong kind of people, the speaker begins to understand that, that effort needs to be saved for the people that really matter, and to look after others, you first have to look after yourself.
The vocal performance from JXCKSON is diverse and confident, ranging tonally from loud revelatory choruses to breathy whispers in the verses. The layers of vocals interweave nicely, creating this rich sonic tapestry where every layer of harmony adds weight to the lead vocal’s lyrics. The use of these flourishing harmonies to underscore important lyrics is a nice touch that connects the song thematically and sonically into a cohesive piece. There is an emotional resonance in the delivery that suggests, to me, that this is a piece from the heart. The way the vocals ebb and flow so smoothly through the emotional contours of the track feels so natural, raw, and honest.
The use of high register vocal samples on the production side works nicely to juxtapose the depth of the seething bass that is used to build towards the chorus. Again, these extremes of contrast go a long way to building in that uneasy tension that matches the struggle of the revelation at the core of the track.
There is this purposeful dissonance present that develops and changes as the track goes, starting with layers of strings and a contrasting bassline. I think this choice mirrors the uncertainty of our speaker, unsure of whether to prioritize themselves or the people around them.
Overall, Save Yourself is an exciting and experimental track that has a bold message and a confident delivery. I’m excited to see what JXCKSON does next.