My Inspiration: Jacu – A Good Day To Bury Bad News | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

Reliably informed

Darlington music maker Jacu drops his rather impressive debut EP, A Good Day To Bury Bad News, a five track offering that was mainly written, recorded and produced by the artist in his bedroom.

The EP is a transcendent, and at times euphoric, listen with Radiohead-esque digi-scapes, harmonious vocals and some rich, cinematic instrumentation; all nicely brought together with a lovely lo-fi gloss. Stand out tracks include the lucid dream inducing The Long Run, the more driven – The XX meets Editors – Dreams of Yesterday and The Hive with its expansive essence and delightful percussive accents. It’s also worth mentioning the final song Three minutes In Kyoto, an instrumental that would perfectly soundtrack a Lost In Translation sequel, should Sofia Coppola ever decide to do one.

Here, Jacu tells us more about what inspired the songs that feature on this release…

Previously I wrote quite “traditional” alternative indie rock music – two guitars, bass, drums and vocals, all recorded live with minimal production. The freedom that home recording provides and the programmes and plug-ins I used to produce this EP gave me the opportunity to bring in more electronic influences into my music. Each track on this EP contains electronic elements (be it through the use of pads and synths or through the production techniques and general sound design) as well as live guitars, bass and drums helping it maintain more of an alternative indie rock feel.

The Long Run
This track is probably the most obvious illustration of my attempt to combine electronic influences with alternative indie rock. The track opens with heavily effected analog synths, keys and guitars, coupled with a punchy kick and layered percussive elements. At the time I wrote this song I was listening to a lot of melodic house music from the likes of Ben Bohmer, Jan Blomqvist and Nils Hoffmann. The opening of this track was my attempt to produce a sound like theirs. At the end of the first verse, live drums are faded in and the song takes on more of an alternative indie rock feel. The analog synths continue to play in the background for the entirety of the song in order to maintain some electronic influence throughout the track. 

Dreams Of Yesterday
The big drums, heavy bass, soaring guitars, layered rhythm guitar and bass and general angst in this track was strongly influenced by the sound of bands such as White Lies, Editors and Interpol. These are some of the bands who inspired me to start writing music and continue to influence my writing today. In order to stick with the brief and to build in electronic elements, I also added atmospheric sounds and a pluck synth and in true bedroom producer fashion I recorded various random sounds from around my flat to provide texture to the track. 

The Hive
This is the first instrumental only track of the EP and was actually inspired by an art installation rather than any particular genre or artist. The art installation in question was a large sculpture of the skeleton of a beehive where, once inside you, were hit with atmospheric sounds playing from speakers placed all around the structure, creating an immersive experience. The Hive is my attempt to recreate that experience in musical form. I spent a lot of time playing around with effects and sounds to create the tinny buzzing sound you hear at the beginning of the track and throughout. I also cropped a snippet of vocals I had recorded for a different song, put them in reverse and then soaked them in reverb and delay to create an atmospheric pulsating sound. 

The Death Of It
The Death of It is the first song I wrote when I started recording music at home. It is heavily influenced by Tame Impala, an artist who also influences me throughout the production process of all of my music. This influence is especially apparent in the instrumental build-up after the second verse which was modelled on the iconic build-up in his song “Let it Happen”. It uses short repetitive motifs and lots of flanger and chorus to build tension and movement before the volume knob and a high-pass filter are cranked right up to the max to create a sucking sound and then suddenly released when the chorus kicks back in. Tame Impala uses a similar technique in one of his tracks “Apocalypse Dreams” to create an implosion and explosion of sound which is of course much more effective and professional than mine.

Three Minutes In Kyoto
This is the second instrumental only track of the EP and, like the first, was inspired by a place and an experience rather than a genre or artist. I wrote this song in one afternoon after spending the day at a Japanese garden. I wanted the song to convey the peacefulness of being in this calm garden during a light rain shower. 

The song was built by placing a continuous echo on a keyboard and playing a new sequence of notes every couple of bars to create multiple layers of overlapping motifs which would continue to play indefinitely. On top of this I played overlapping drum patterns which builds gradually to create tension until the drums and keys gradually faded away – an attempt to mimic the growing intensity of the rain shower before it eventually eases off. I wanted the song to have a relaxing and organic lo-fi sound so I added a lot of vinyl distortion to the track and included samples of running water and distant conversation in the background.

Like this story? Share it!

Subscribe to our mailout