There is an innovative and truly original solo artist from London; his name is Jake Morley. Having shared the same stages as Ed Sheeran, Rae Morris, and Jack Garratt in the burgeoning UK Singer/Songwriter scene, Jake has been steadily earning his fan base one massively intense live show at a time.
Jake’s website features a collection of beautifully produced videos and remarkable live performances that will sell him better than any music blog ever could. We here at Evensound are massive fans of Jake’s truly unique approach to his craft and implore you to support his art in anyway you can.
As Jake wraps up the recording and mastering of his new album and prepares for tour, he was cool enough to take the time to answer some questions for us here at Evensound.
How did you get started playing music and writing songs?
When I was young I struggled with conversation, and music became a new way to express myself. Then as a young adult it was a route to self discovery, a tool to address the onslaught of big questions with – who am I? How does life work? Writing my own songs felt like an inevitable continuation of that process. I didn’t want to stop as an adult just because I had to pay rent – there were so many more questions to answer! So I just kept going, and here I am with a few more questions but some big answers too.
Your lyrics are extremely thoughtful and beautifully compliment your relaxed and effortless sounding vocal delivery, What is your songwriting process like?
Thoughtful is such a great word, because this album is all about the nature of our minds. Even with the briefest of inquiry, conscious experience appears to be absolutely full with thought. My brain is like a zoo! For the writing process I decided to hand over the keys of the kingdom to my mind, daring it think its way to a great album.
Â That turned out to be a horrifying process, full of all the suffering we tend to inflict when we lose ourselves in thought. For one song I actually spent three solid months writing the words to one song over and over again, which was a kind of madness really. But there was a huge benefit to that – lyrics that really hold up to scrutiny, with no weak links and no filler lines that don’t mean anything, at least to me. I’m very glad to have done that, the songs have a weather-beaten strength to them, but not sure I’d do it again for a while.
As for vocal delivery that’s another good spot. I learned to sing in noisy venues, competing with the noise at the bar, so I would shout myself into the ground trying to capture their attention. For this album my producer worked hard with me to pull it right back, be dynamic, get the right tone. I’m so pleased with the results.
Please tell us about your wonderful music videos. They’re so creative in their use of clean shots and simple visual effects. The video for “Falter” is absolutely beautiful. Who do you work with for your video production? How did that/those relationship(s) start?
The same way many relationships start – through mutual friends. The filmmaker I’ve been working with, Rosie Collins, really shares my tastes for music videos not being just promotional shots of a singer looking cool. We worked hard to find visual themes that suited the music.
For Falter, the combination of strength and vulnerability displayed by aerialists was perfect for the song. You can build up all the muscle you like but you’ll always be fighting gravity and that’s just relentless. In life, struggle of one kind or another will be ever-present and impossible to totally eliminate, so it’s about accepting that, finding ways to minimize it and hold yourself in a calm way.
Please tell us the inspiration and recording process behind the new single “Ghostess” – The strings are absolutely gorgeous.
Thanks! There’s only really one way you can properly write a song like Ghostess and that’s for someone you love to break up with you. Maybe some people can fake that, but they’ll probably miss the little details like the toothbrushes that still seem to kiss. Playing it live could be a little manic, with a more equals less situation, especially with my singing, so we pulled it back a little, made it more controlled. I think it’s way more powerful as a result.
As for the strings, they’ve become a huge part of the sound. I’ve been working with an arranger called Kate St John who has really transformed these songs. The trick with a string section is getting them to piss off when they’re not needed, so when they’re in, they’re powerful, relevant and emotional but not indulgent. Kate absolutely nailed that.
Tell us about your upcoming April tour. Are you excited? Will it be with a full band?
I would love to take a band out on the road. It is absolutely a full band record, which in itself is a daft idea for an indie artist these days. But this isn’t the album tour, only regular touring so it’ll be solo.
Am I excited? Fuck yes! Push me on a stage.