Whiskey Jack takes us on a journey through nature, what it means to be human, and his enthralling new EP Haystacks.
Hailing from the hills of Perth, singer-songwriting Whiskey Jack has built an enthralling presence in the Indie Folk realm. Jack has a deep and unwavering passion for nature and all things mental health, which he injects into his music through his poetic and thought-provoking lyricism, which is weaved through uplifting melodies.
Jack has often been described as an old soul with a smooth sound and timeless vocals, something which is best showcased in his latest EP Haystacks, comprised of four gorgeous tracks that will take your breath away.
Here at Happy, we got the opportunity to have a chat with Jack about his love for hiking and exploring, as well as discussing all things Haystacks and, of course, being human.
HAPPY: What was the exact moment you fell in love with music?
JACK: I have always loved music; I would listen in the car on road trips and put playlists together. I pay attention to the words, I like to understand the songs and what they might be about.
I lived in British Columbia for a few years and this time spurred on my desire to write songs myself – I fell in love with that process. The winters were spent on the mountain or in the cabin by the fire and it provided the time to work on my song-craft and writing.
HAPPY: You have mentioned that you are a hiking, springtime and nature enthusiast, which I absolutely love. Where did the love of nature stem from? And where is your favourite place in nature that you gravitate towards?
JACK: Growing up I spent all my time outdoors, climbing trees and splashing in the brook – chasing experiences in wild places helps me to feel connected and is a part of my every day. Being in nature feels real.
I couldn’t choose one favourite place, but anywhere with mountains, water and birds, I’m smiling.
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HAPPY: When it came to approaching your debut EP, how did you settle on the theme of exploring the great outdoors?
JACK: I didn’t decide on a theme as such. The scenes and characters are very much part of my imaginary landscape; places I go to, my favourite colours and textured brush strokes.
Within the songs are echoes of my experiences in the real world, the things I feel, the jobs I’ve had, and time spent looking out the window. I want to share songs that are easy for the listener to visualise and connect with, in their own way.
HAPPY: I love that you weave poetry into your work, was that something you did intentionally, or did it crop up organically?
JACK: It’s all intentional. I’m always digging about for plain things, obvious and overlooked, stunning and imperfect, trends in the human experience and universal truths. Just as fiction isn’t ‘real’ in a literal sense, the experiences portrayed, and the message conveyed in good fiction can be more real than anything. I’m striving for something like that.
HAPPY: Your lyrics also focus on touching subjects such as mental health and being human. I love that you have included these in your stories in your tracks, was there inspiration in including these themes in your music?
JACK: The themes were informed by the experiences I was having at the time. I wanted to embed these ideas within relatable stories, hoping the end product was separate enough from me to be consumed and understood in a universal way.
At the end of the day, we are all humans having our own unique experiences. However, there is so much in this world that makes us believe we are separate from each other and alone. Music is something that can bridge the gap, somewhere that we can all connect on a deeper level.
HAPPY: What has been one thing that you have learnt about yourself throughout the writing and recording process of the EP?
JACK: I am still amidst the phase of self-discovery. Who I am as an artist, what I have to say and how I want it to sound – it’s an evolving journey. I’m working around it and the circles are getting tighter. The Haystacks EP is a result of the above distillation, and I’m feeling proud of what was created. The lessons are cumulative and I’m grateful for the process.
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HAPPY: If there was one tip that you could give yourself at the start of writing and recording your EP, what would it be?
JACK: It might take longer than you think, but in the end, it happens as it’s meant to.
HAPPY: Lastly, what is the best way that we can all support you as a musician?
JACK: My biggest wish for the release of this EP is for people to hear it. I hope that the lyrics give something to the listener, like a sense of belonging or connectedness among us all, and nature.
The best way to support musicians is to check out their music, share it with a friend or on socials, add it to your playlists and if you like, come to a live show!
Stream Haystacks via Spotify below.
Interviewed by Laura Hughes