Updated: Oct 28, 2021
Words by Blake Savanah
Jarrah Ma is back with a charming set of songs exploring love, travel and mums house.
In 2019, Melbourne songwriter Jarrah Ma jumped on a plane destined for Spain. Sick of the repetition of city life and longing to find something more. He had a one way ticket for adventure.... and to visit his mate Danny.
Danny was a Spanish backpacker who had moved into Jarrah Ma's shared house in Brunswick years earlier. The two became fast friends, teaching each other the ways of their respective cultures. Their friendship sparked a strong interest in Spanish language and culture for Jarrah Ma, planting the seed for his dream to travel across the pond and visit Danny in his hometown of Castellón.
When he finally made the trek, it was a cathartic experience. Immersing himself in the language, way of life and most importantly the music.
In many ways it suited him well, things just move a little bit slower over there. A friendly, laid back culture with an appreciation for arts and music. Perfect for an easy going fella like Jarrah Ma.
The trip introduced him first hand to bossa nova, the Brazilian music which has become ingrained in the songbooks of many latin speaking countries, and the music of Joao Gilberto, widely known as the "father of bossa nova".
Coming from a western folk background, this exposure to bossa and latin jazz would have a profound influence on Jarrah Ma's songwriting and the way he views composition. By the time he would return home to Melbourne, he already had the skeletons of his next EP bouncing around in his head.
Upon returning home from Spain, he moved into his mum's spare room, where he would spend the next year drawing from his travels abroad and new perspectives of the world, to write and record the songs that would comprise the new release.
En Casa De Mi Madre, translated to English means "at mum's house". The title of the EP pays homage to where it was recorded and includes some Spanish language taught to him by old mate Danny.
More refined than his previous EP Shaving Cream, and more ambitious than any of his previous works . En Casa De Mi Madre is an exploration of themes of love and life we can all relate to. Set to music with elaborate arrangements that take influence not only from bossa nova, but from Bach, Motown, Brian Wilson and The Beatles.
The stand out track of the EP is undoubtably Hopeless in Love. An ode to that feeling of being utterly swept up in the infatuation of a new relationship, that will inevitably end sooner rather than later. Possibly the best song Jarrah Ma has written to date.
En Casa De Mi Madre's launch gig was unfortunately postponed indefinitely due to the COVID lockdowns in Melbourne, but stay tuned for a rescheduled date to be announced soon.
Listen to the EP here
En Casa De Mi Madre is out now on Giant Drop Records
Photo by Angus Wishart