Having performed on stage and TV since they were kids, singing-songwriting brothers Jacob Harrell and Cheyenne Harrell – better known as Jake & Papa – are all too familiar with the ups and downs of the biz. Even with co-signs from artists like Brian McKnight and Jermaine Dupri, and "15 seconds" of reality TV fame, they haven't quite achieved the success levels of some of their peers. And it's not for lack of talent, either, because they've definitely got skills. But while they aren't household names just yet, their new EP Blackberry Winter proves that it hasn't diminished their capacity to create good music.
The title is inspired by their belief that "Some of the sweetest and most nourishing moments in life are born in the darkest and coldest times." This converse train of thought is revisited throughout Blackberry Winter as it explores the peaks and valleys of relationships (friendly, familial and romantic) – loyalty and betrayal, joy and heartache, love and lust are all woven throughout the seven-song collection.
The album begins and ends with each brother addressing negativity, giving their own version of "Coldest Winter." A relationship ends on "So Far Gone," while "Solo" finds the brothers dealing with heartbreak as they name-drop artists that help get them through the lonely nights. Rising singer Garren joins the duo on "Sara Song," while Kenyon Dixon lends his vocals to "Higher," a song that titillates the listener with smooth vocals and sensual tones. In contrast, "BET Uncut" adds a generous helping of bounce to the mix while leaving little to the imagination.
Settle in for a listen of Blackberry Winter and support the independent hustle by purchasing a copy of the EP. Afterward, keep up with Jake & Papa via Twitter and IG. We have a feeling we'll be hearing a lot more from them in the near future.