The single “Stay Tonight” by award-winning Los Angeles based singer-songwriter and producer, Johnathan Dax, thrives in eloquence and a welcome return to the emotional resonance of organic sounding instrumentation. The track co-written and performed by Nashville singer-songwriter Olivia Claire perfectly captures the affecting mood of its heartbreaking theme. Poignant, honey-sweet vocals, echoing strummed guitars, oscillating melodies, airy harmonies, and sweeping strings make up much of the track’s musical palette.
“There’s a wine glass by the TV. It’s as empty as I am,” sings Olivia Claire in the opening lines of “Stay Tonight”, as she begins to unfold its heartfelt narrative. Her voice is absolutely gorgeous – the definition of transcendent – as she wraps those affecting introductory words around Johnathan Dax’s sublime arrangement and careful production. The two gets everything right here. And, ultimately, that’s how “Stay Tonight” surpasses expectations.
Clearly, Johnathan Dax and Olivia Claire share incandescent magic, with an ignitable creative spark that radiates luminous brilliance throughout “Stay Tonight”. These are real musicians, so part of their appeal is their skill. Their blend of traditional Americana folk, alternative country and contemporary pop, will connect with any audience. The level of intricate and melodious songwriting demonstrated throughout this single is instantly striking.
“Stay Tonight” thrives on the omission of heavy bombast, instead, Johnathan Dax relies on slowly building chord progressions to allow the mid-tempo ballad to bloom into a sweeping and hypnotic sentimental lament, that feels both contemporary and timeless. It is this ability to write sophisticated and personal music, which makes for a truly stunning listening experience. The implication is that Johnathan Dax produces music that can appeal to both dedicated genre fans and mainstream chart lovers in equal measure.
“I’m broken down, on a runaway train. Please carry me away, I’m heading for the end of the line. I need your touch to ease my pain,” sings Olivia Claire in the chorus, but it’s not just the lyrics and her voice that captivates. Maybe more so is the musicality and emotion they are oozing with. Seriously, so many singers out there are not artists, but Olivia Claire knows her craft, and confidently shares it on “Stay Tonight”.
Tone and mood are essential in a track of this caliber, and are well executed at every turn, while Johnathan Dax’s production is excellent. The subtle musical eloquence he infuses into the arrangement is perfectly matched by the haunting beauty of Olivia Claire’s vocal interpretation. The power, energy and emotional implications of “Stay Tonight” carries an impact that will wake up many people who are complaining about how sterile, cold and predictable music has become.
It’s easy to overlook the foundation of a song when it’s so lusciously produced. The remarkable accomplishment of “Stay Tonight” is that it seemingly achieves all of its feats, with an almost effortless aura. Delicate but resonant instrumentation, ear-warming vocals and some of the most genuinely emotive lyrics you will hear all year, combine to produce a song of rare and beautiful quality. “Stay Tonight” ft. Olivia Claire, by Johnathan Dax, will pull you back for another listen, each and every time you press play.