Introducing Jack Botts, who shines with his new single Northern Rivers
The Brisbane-raised, Byron Bay-based musician will share his new EP of the same name on November 1st.
With acts including Tash Sultana and Tones And I becoming global success stories in the past year, it's clear that busking isn't a dying art. In fact, it's becoming quite the opposite: one of the strongest platforms of discovery and talent-unearthing that, as acts like those aforementioned plus a handful of others showcase, can quickly put you on the path for national and occasionally international fame.
A musician that would know about this is Jack Botts: a Brisbane-born, Byron Bay-based musician who over the last two years, has refined his singer-songwriter craft after years of cutting it as a busker. With his debut EP last year and the handful of singles that have littered his discography since, Botts has quickly become known as a source for charming, guitar-backed indie-folk that falls in a similar realm to Ziggy Alberts and Riley Pearce; songwriting and lyricism on show, but his charm and brilliance always present - no matter what he's working with.
His latest single, Northern Rivers, is a charming indie tune that serves as the perfect introduction to his work if you're yet to be acquainted, teasing an EP of the same name - "a bunch of old friends that are finally getting released," he says on the release - that's due to arrive November 1st via UNIFIED. "The story behind Northern Rivers really stuck with me, it was like a 20 minute moment in time that turned into this whole big story that I’ve told in a song," he says on the track. "I'd stopped in Lennox Head for a break while driving and I got talking to
someone who was sitting there alone and just looked so upset. She told me that her mum had passed away to cancer a few weeks before and her dad had a breakdown and left."
"You can’t really do anything in those moments, you can’t give advice on something like that or say ‘chin up’ because it’s just so heavy," he continues. "I didn’t know what to say at all, I just copped it all on the chin and listened to her and when I got home and processed it by jotting down everything we spoke about." The end result, is a personal moment of vulnerability rich with emotional storytelling - as expected from the song's creation - and with it, an introduction to the beauty and grace of one of Australia's emerging songwriters.
The full EP isn't out until November 1st, but in the meantime, dive into its title track and better get to know Jack Botts below, then catch him on tour with a handful of dates across this east-coast until the year's out.
Tell us about yourself?
I live in my van in the Northern Rivers, NSW. I spend most of my days in the water and at cafes and my nights busking on the streets with my mates. Life is pretty good at the moment.
What’s the vibe music-wise?
I guess the vibe is easy listening, coastal, singer/songwriter, but also borderline folk/pop. Think Jack Johnson with Mumford and Sons, haha. I like to keep it simple and happy most of the time.
What are your production and writing processes like?
For the past few years, I’ve found my songs have been formed over periods of time. I tend to jot down notes every day, and kind of put phrases and lines together where they fit and suit the topics I’m writing about. Like a jigsaw puzzle. Every now and then, songs will write themselves in a matter of minutes, and that’s nice too.
Can you tell us about your new single, Northern Rivers?
This song is an old friend of mine from almost four years ago. It’s about a conversation I had once with a total stranger (in the Northern Rivers) who was going through a rough patch in life, but completely opened up to me. I was pretty young at the time and felt it wasn’t my place to dish out advice to someone going through something I had no idea about. So I just listened and copped it all on the chin. When I got home not long after the chat, I wrote down everything she spoke about and put it into a song. It still hasn’t been changed to this day, so I guess it’s in its ‘purest’ form.
Any tour dates coming up?
Heaps! I’m currently on tour with Ash Grunwald, supporting his Mojo Australian album tour. I also have my own headline tour in November which I can’t wait for. I’ve been on the road a lot this year supporting heaps of awesome acts like John Floreani and The Pierce Brothers, so it’s nice to get to do my own this time round. Can’t wait.
What does the rest of 2019 have in store for you?
I’ve got my second EP Northern Rivers being released at the start of November and will be touring the EP for most of the month. And then it’s back to the Bay for a summer of busking, surfing and sunburn! Yeehhaawww.
Where can we find more of your music?
I’ve got a nice little collection of songs on streaming services available to listen to. But, if you ever happen to find you self in Byron, I like to test out some new ones and play a heap of unreleased songs on the streets, so you could find my music there too!
Saturday November 2 – Land Of Plenty, Shepparton
Monday November 4 – Grace Darling Upstairs, Melbourne
Friday November 8 – Oxford Arts Gallery, Sydney
Friday November 22 – The Northern Backroom, Byron Bay
Friday December 6 – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane
Follow Jack Botts: FACEBOOK