Track Review: Icarus // Chilli Jesson


Chilli Jesson has exploded back onto the music scene with his latest headbanging anthem, ‘Icarus’.

In a single word, ‘Icarus’ is furious. The booming chorus, “I’m so tired of feeling sick and tired /  wanna take a flight / red eye / get high /  like we’re Icarus style’’; is barked out over a punchy drum beat and heavy guitar reverb, with the lead character’s frustration being made clear. The song tells an all too well-known story of feeling crushed under the weight of working life, and finally snapping when the pressure gets too much. The raging backing track echoes the exasperation of the lyrics, making it hard for any listener not to align themselves with the singer’s plight.

Much like Jesson’s prior release ‘Carolina Reaper’, ‘Icarus’ is rife with theatricality, continuing the musician’s theme of a more narrative-led songwriting style, following his departure and the eventual split of his prior band Parma Violets in 2018. The lines are delivered in a cutting, scathing tone, giving an air of someone who has simply lost the ability to care. The catchy repetitive chant of the chorus, although at points grating, is irresistible to stomp along to.

‘Icarus’ is clearly a protest piece for service workers, acting as a manifesto for anyone working in a blue-collar job, especially with the accompanying music video’s focus on a chef having a breakdown. The opening shot shows a classic bathroom breakdown, a no doubt familiar scene to any service worker who has had a bad day on the job. In the current economic crisis, where many are turning to stress-inducing work in hospitality, retail, and other customer service roles to keep themselves afloat, ‘Icarus’ feels hugely relevant.

Whilst ‘Icarus’ could be argued to appear one note with its pounding repetition, the electricity of the song makes for an enjoyable listen nonetheless. Chilli Jesson is still very much an act on the rise, but with the addictive energy of his last few singles, he has more than proven that he is one to look out for. 

Words by Alice Fortt

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