INTERVIEW: Jak Lvr | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Those interested in dreamy pop music might have recently caught Take A Ride, the debut single release from Teesside’s jak lvr. Down-tempo, with an interesting groove and complimented by dreamy vocals, Take A Ride sounded like the type of wonderful guitar/synth/abstract pop defined by Empire of the Sun in the mid 2000’s. Coming out of nowhere, Take A Ride was a gem of a surprise from the former Llovers frontman and a delicious first step in the solo newcomer’s career.

When the track was quickly followed by July’s Call It Love (If You Want To) single, a more upbeat 1975-meets-the-Pet Shop Boys groove, it was soon becoming clear that jak might be one to watch and focus began to settle on his debut EP of the same name, which is set for release on 10th September.

I suppose the reaction to the first few singles has been really nice, and people have been saying nice things about it which is nice,” confirms jak when we catch up, “but honestly I’ve got so many pieces I’m creating at the minute it’s hard to keep up with what’s out there and what I’m working on.”

I think being creative tends to blend genres into each other

Caught in the middle of currently working on some folk pieces (“I’m almost sure these won’t be released but I’m obsessed with Father John Misty at the minute and whatever music I’m focused on tends to be the type of music I want to create”) jak talks about the Call It Love… EP as a right of passage of sorts, as he moves into new textures and sounds, referencing his work with indie pop quintet Llovers. “I was in a band before this project and I’m moving quickly away from that, so this EP is almost a bridge between where I am and where I was.”

A blend of electro-pop, the EP showcases the spectrum of jak’s palate, and whilst the two early releases have been more down-tempo grooves, Never See Me Cry is a full-on, hands in the air electro banger and EP closer F.E.T.S drops more into the abstract textures of the Flaming Lips, complete with interesting samples and dreamy backing vocals.

It’s clear that Call It Love… showcases an artist with the ability to bring to life a number of different electronic styles and textures, something he’s keen to carry on working with: “I’ve done about 20 folk songs now, though that’s starting to lead me back to the more electronic stuff so I’ve got a feeling that’s going to become my focus again, which is nice as it’ll let me think about how to follow up Call It Love…. I think being creative tends to blend genres into each other anyway, if you follow what you’re interested in, it tends to be quite circular and bring you back to the start.”

Though plans for a live release party are stalled at the moment, there are plans to get out into the live arena towards the end of the year. With so many ideas, and so many creative muses to follow, it might be hard to pin jak’s next step down but, as Call It Love… proves, it’ll be well worth the wait.

jak lvr releases Call It Love (If You Want To) on 10th September

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