EP Walkthrough: Jack Botts breaks down his potent latest EP, Slow Mornings
The Northern Rivers musician shares his latest EP amongst a flock of tour dates throughout June.
Header image by Kieran Tunbridge.
When it comes to the more subtle and stripped-back side of Australia's music space, then Jack Botts is a musician you can't go past. The musician - from New South Wales' Northern Rivers - has been a go-to in this sound since his debut single Home To You arrived back in 2018, with everything he's put out since - his debut EP Summer Nights (also in 2018), the Northern Rivers EP in 2019, and others included within that - showcasing this potent, yet charming indie-folk sound that has been quick to catch on and declare Jack Botts a musician worth keeping an eye on.
Even with the absence of touring for a large part of 2020, Jack Botts has continued to kill it. Fresh from the release of his Northern Rivers EP in 2019, Botts eased straight into the year ahead with his returning single I've Got You, released just as the year began to turn. In August, he shared a trio of songs titled the Hold You Tapes, before yet again showcasing something new with another fresh single, 18th Floor, in November. All the while, he was learning more about himself too, growing and evolving himself personally, as his music grew alongside him.
Now, with the release of his latest EP Slow Mornings, you start to get a better understanding as to what influenced that period of growth, and how he's changing coming out the other side of it. Slow Mornings delves into the highs and lows of Jack Botts' turbulent last year with the intimacy and songwriting craft that's long defined his work, which now, is being pushed to an entirely new level. It's personal and reflective, yet emotional enough that you can connect with everything he covers throughout the EP, as he draws you in and leaves you on the other side not just more in-touch with the experiences that fuel his songwriting, but perhaps some of your own experiences and thoughts too.
"This EP is a collection of tracks that represent a pretty crazy point in my life, and career," he says on the EP. "All the ups and downs of balancing a long-distance relationship with work. It talks about all the moments when you want to throw the towel in and give up, to the realisation that giving up just isn’t an option, despite the heartache."
Continuing, he explains how the last 12 months has given him the space needed to reflect on what's going on around him - something many others have experienced within their own lives too. "The pandemic gave me a lot of time to think (sometimes too much) and dive in to different genres and styles of writing. I feel I ventured out a little bit more than I ever have, which I really enjoyed! This EP will always remind me of a really tough year, but appreciate everything that came from those lessons."
Slow Mornings arrives amidst a national headline tour, with dates spread across the country throughout June. You can find them all below (or find more information and grab tickets here), but in the meantime, take a dive into Slow Mornings wth a track by track walkthrough, where he breaks down the EP's themes and creation one song at a time - it's quite the journey.
I remember writing this at the end of 2019, just as I met my now partner. It was one of those songs that just completely flowed out of me, and it felt like it wrote itself in a way. This track touched on everything I was feeling when you meet ‘that person’ that makes you tick. “I still don’t know what you’re doing with me” is probably my favourite line, because I still ask her this all the time hahaha. I held onto this track for a while before I took it to Canada and recorded it in North Vancouver, BC.
My attempt at folk-rap. It’s not the most obvious thing, but even though I’m a folk muso, I listen to all genres of music. Throughout high school, I wrote a fair bit of poetry, which eventually turned into songwriting. When the pandemic hit while I was in Canada, I challenged myself to squeeze as many words into my songs as I could. It became more of a fun game for me, and after a few attempts, 18th Floor was born. One of my favourite songs now to play live!
I’ve Got You
This one brings me a heap of busking nostalgia! I always say that this song was born ‘on the streets’ because it literally was. I would always play this when I was busking, and each time I played it, I would try and add a new line to the song. I associate this one with 30 degree nights on the streets in Byron, with a heap of mates, just having a hell time! It’s now a massive jam song on tour if all the boys are in town!
Cheers to the pandemic, a 2 week trip to Canada was stretched out to nearly 4 months. I had a heap of fun over there and was super grateful to be ‘stuck’ with my Canadian family, but I took the opportunity to reflect on my life back home. The east coast of Oz is home for me, and there’s nothing I love more than waking up slow, being in the sun with coffees, beers and mates! I remember being so excited when I was writing this song. I couldn’t wait to play it live, and I can’t wait for my Canadian crew to come experience this with us.
My time in hotel quarantine isn’t one I like to remember, besides the fact that I wrote this one. I remember turning on the news each day, and every news flash was negative, dark and depressing. Everyone had so many opinions, disagreements, protests and arguments, it got me so anxious. There was so much ‘noise’ in the world at that point, and all I wanted to do was get out, and head for the ‘quiet’. It became a bit of a road trip song for me, and a little reminder to breath when it all gets a little too much.
The ‘folk/punk-yelling’ one! Hahaha, I had just had a shocker of a week with my partner on FaceTime. The long-distance thing was getting the better of us. Maybe we both said some things we didn’t actually mean. It doesn’t matter, it was the heat of the moment. I wrote this after reflecting on the hiccup, and realised there wasn’t anything wrong with ‘us’, it was the situation. I went into the studio with my producer Garrett Kato, and he was like “why don’t you just fucking scream out that last chorus”, so I did. Pretty sure it’s the highest I’ve ever sung, but it felt pretty cool. Haha.
Remaining Tour Dates:
Friday, June 11 - The Zoo, Brisbane, QLD (SOLD OUT)
Saturday, June 12 - The Lansdowne, Sydney, NSW (SOLD OUT)
Thursday, June 24 - The Corner, Melbourne, VIC (SOLD OUT)
Sunday, June 27 - The Northern, Byron Bay, NSW (FINAL TICKETS)