Imagine yourself in London. Spring 2012. Somewhere in the streets. A car passes, windows rolled down. A song’s coming out. It’s “Feet Don’t Fail Me Now” by Jake Morley.
But that’s not all. What makes his music special is the way he plays his guitar. He calls it lap-tapping himself. And that’s what it is. It almost looks like playing the piano. The transatlantic diablog had a chat with Jake Morley to shed some light.
tdb: Introduce yourself in one sentence, please.
Jake Morley: Jake Colin Morley, songwriter, seeks passing music blog reader for unexpected kinship, music-based conversation… maybe more.
tdb: How did you discover your way of playing the guitar?
J.M.: I was looking for a spark to get me excited about songwriting again. Experimenting with the guitar on my lap seemed to open up a whole new world to me, and I explored it with real thirst. For a while it felt like there was nothing I couldn’t do. But good songs are what is really important. Whatever it is that makes you want to write good songs, whether it’s a guitar technique, love, politics, death, another song, whatever – you’ve gotta grab it.
On April 02 (in the UK) Jake Morley’s debut album “Many Fish To Fry” hit the record and download stores. Now available for you. Read our full review of the CD/DVD package here.
(Audio from Jake Morley’s Soundcloud)
tdb: You’ve recorded with producer Phill Brown who had already worked with Talk Talk. What was the most important thing he contributed to the process?
J.M.: Phill was a constant companion, with a genuine shared vision for the music. Most important of all he gave me freedom and peace of mind, because I knew that whatever atmosphere and performances we could create in the studio, he would capture them perfectly. That meant the world to me. With so many developments in music technology, we mustn’t lose the art of putting the right mic in the right place in the right room.
tdb: Which instruments did you play on the CD?
J.M.: We tracked 15 songs as a band in about 6 days, then adding overdubs on top. Whatever I felt like I could play as well as someone else, I played myself. Everything else, I asked for help. I was very lucky to have so many talented people involved.
tdb: What’s your most favourite line of the album. From which song is it an and why?
J.M.: I like to leave myself little messages in lyrics, so that when I sing them they remind me to be the person I want to be. “I tend to run and hide, but I’m gonna bring me back to the light” is one I often return to.
Jake Morley quotes lyrics from his song “The Light”, the first track of his album – all in all containing 11 tracks.
tdb: Your debut single “Feet Don’t Fail Me Now” has some uplifting vocal harmonies. And you once said you like barbershop quartets. Where does that come from?
J.M.: I don’t know I just love the sound of harmonised voices! Especially like in Feet Don’t Fail Me Now where it’s a people’s choir. Rough and real like people have just taken to the streets suddenly out of desperate frustration.
(Video by Jake Morley)
tdb: Where did you shoot the video to the song? It was self-made, right?
J.M.: Yep, I made a much slower version of the song, then we filmed me singing it and walking in slow motion down the busiest streets of London. When we sped it back to normal speed it raced to life – I think it’s my best video yet.
So the video is shot. Songs are recorded and put out on an album. Time to play live again for Jake Morley. Although that’s something he constantly does. Playing proper shows in the UK from May to August, all the dates here and below, Jake’s already preparing for them.
tdb: Did you find any support acts after you’ve put a note on your website?
J.M.: I take support acts very seriously, because I love finding great new music and sharing it with people. I listened to every request and chose my favourites to play with us on tour. I’m also going on a solo open-mic tour this month, so hopefully I’ll pick some more supports from those.
tdb: There’s a song called “Ghostess” that you’ve recently played, but that’s not on the album. Why is that? Tell us about the song.
J.M.: It’s become a very significant song for me actually, and a highlight of our live set. But I wrote it after Many Fish To Fry was finished, and it has quite a different feel to it than the rest of the album, so I’m holding back that one, and a few more, for album two.
tdb: Where should we meet in 2012? Which show will be the most special?
J.M.: The beauty of live performance is you never know which will be the most special until it happens. And the challenge is to make every single one special, whether in a tiny cellar or major venue. I hope we get the chance to meet, and wherever that may be, the meeting will no doubt make it special. Invite me to Germany! It’s a dream of mine. Besides, I need to do more research on my rock opera musical about King Ludwig II of Bavaria.[tweet http://twitter.com/#!/jakemorley/status/190156074735767553]
May 2 Manchester, May 3 Newcastle, May 5 Bristol, May 7 Woodbridge, May 9 Nottingham, May 10 London, May 11 Oxford, May 12 Bury, May 13 Leeds, May 17 Kendal, May 18 York, May 19 Sheffield, May 20 Liverpool, May 22 High Wycombe, May 24 Cardiff, May 26 Exeter, May 27 Bristol, May 31 Cheltenham.
Thanks to Jake Colin Morley and Kerry Harvey-Piper of Red Grape Records…
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