Jack Garratt – Love, Death & Dancing (Vol. 6: Live At Unwound Studios) (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 31:59 minutes | 607 MB | Genre: Indie Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Universal-Island Records Ltd.
“I wrote this album as someone – and for anyone – who likes dancing but doesn’t necessarily want to go out on a Saturday. It’s dance music for people who don’t want to go out! And that’s the music that I love: music that doesn’t care if you’re standing up or sitting down. It’s going to give it to you either way.” – Jack Garratt
If Jack Garratt wasn’t a musician, he’d make a mean critic – mean as in take-no-prisoners blunt and brutal. A detractor of his music could throw a brickbat at him but Jack will always have got there first. Ask him now about his 2016 debut album ‘Phase’ and the 28-year-old doesn’t pull his punches, describing it as “busy and erratic”, “clever bullshit … a record full of beautiful metaphor that doesn’t really say anything. I was scared to actually say something real; I didn’t think people wanted to hear it. That’s why my production on that record is so busy, so saturated.” Yup, he’s down on the production, too. “I didn’t think I was a good producer, so I did lots of tricks to make people think: ‘He’s good.’ Same with the lyrics, with the melodies, all of it: it was just me on a face-value level effectively going: ‘This is good because it’s impressive, not because it’s actually good.’”
At a point like this you sort of want to say: “Mate, go a bit easier on yourself.” Because Phase struck so many of us at the time as a debut of rare audacity and bravery, confrontational and challenging pop record that, far from pandering to listeners, instead made demands of us, and was all the more thrilling for that. That it was also a vivid glimpse into Jack’s head and heart became clear when I first met him, late in 2015, and recognised at once that here was an artist for whom taking the easy route was never going to be an option. That said, listening to him describe the painful and tortuous genesis of his extraordinary new album ‘Love, Death & Dancing’, you realise that ‘Phase’ was a picnic by comparison. Ok, that sounds a bit flippant, but that perhaps has something to do with the fact that Jack can laugh about the background to the making of his second album – now. There was a time, though, a long, long time, where laughter was off the menu entirely. In its place, despair, self-doubt, anxiety and a state of constant, dangerous crisis.
As he gears up to send ‘Love, Death & Dancing’ out into the world, Jack looks back on that period not with gratitude exactly, but with an appreciation of the wisdom it gave him – hard-won, maybe, but deeply precious, and an experience that armoured him for the battles ahead. If the process sounds hellish, ‘Love, Death & Dancing’, by contrast, is an ultimately joyous album. It isn’t afraid to lay bare the torment that led up to and informed its creation. But it is also a triumphant testament to survival, and to courage.
1. Jack Garratt – Only The Bravest (Live At Unwound Studios)
2. Jack Garratt – Time (Live At Unwound Studios)
3. Jack Garratt – Circles (Live At Unwound Studios)
4. Jack Garratt – Mara (Live At Unwound Studios)
5. Jack Garratt – Doctor Please (Live At Unwound Studios)
6. Jack Garratt – Old Enough (Live At Unwound Studios)