REVIEW: Jocelyn & Chris release “Sugar and Spice”

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ALBANY — The wait from the hottest siblings in rock is over, and boy, was it worth it.

Folk/rock duo Jocelyn & Chris released a new single, “Sugar and Spice,” this morning. The single premiered yesterday on American Songwriter with an exclusive interview from the Arndt siblings.

“Sugar and Spice” is psychedelic and catchy. The lyrics, which touch on the hot and cold nature of a relationship, play with vocabulary and take the listener on a journey of wanting someone despite the roadblocks you may cross. It rings in just under four minutes long and builds quickly, both hooking the listener in quickly and giving them a reason to stay as the song gets more intricate. 

The lyrics dance on metaphor and the abstract. Lyrics like, “if you’re leaving alone, then you’re leaving me nothing // it’s a long walk with a short fuse // because it just ain’t right if I can’t have you,” give the listener an idea of the tug of war the person is feeling. Other lyrics, like “are you thinking about me // ‘cuz I’m thinking ‘bout you,” are more straightforward, letting the listener into the desire that’s being felt, despite the boundaries holding them back. 

One of the biggest reasons this song works so well is because of the pure talent it generated from. Jocelyn Arndt’s voice is straight from the depths of her soul. The older Arndt, who is an accomplished writer and poet in her own right, is responsible for using her gift to convey emotion. Her control over her voice, a masterful display of power and restraint, is something Arndt has demonstrated throughout her career. The control is especially prevalent at the end of each chorus, where she transitions into her head voice as if she was made from the goldest varieties of honey.

Chris Arndt also shines bright; his guitar chops continuously evolve and not only pay homage to the influences he holds dear, but set him apart from the competition with the edginess and competence at which he shreds. Chris Arndt has mastered the dance of both supporting his sister’s lyrics and standing on his own as the other half of Jocelyn & Chris. His part of the writing process, which is based on his own ability on guitar and hearing what can elevate the song, is on full display; his catchy riff through the song reminds the listener that the duo is meant to be together — they are sugar and spice in their very existence. 

However, the beauty of “Sugar and Spice” is in the growth of the Arndt siblings’ confidence. Both have earned undergraduates degrees at Harvard and have grown both into their musical chops and their own identity. Both siblings are in their mid-20s, and yet show the prowess of musicians three times their ages. 

The journey of Jocelyn & Chris is one of dedication (the siblings have been diligently chasing this dream for over a decade) and talent. After getting their start in talent shows with matching outfits, the evolution the Arndts have displayed both as humans and musicians is one that, with any indication, is going straight up.

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