‘Toronto’ EP out June 19th
Stream single ‘Playing For Keeps’
South London multi-instrumentalist, performer and bedroom producer Jamws will be releasing his debut EP ‘Toronto’ digitally on June 19th. Five blissful, heartfelt tracks that together tell a personal story as well as providing a hazy, retrocentric summer soundtrack. ‘Toronto’ cinematically describes the various stages of heartbreak that can be universally felt in its emotive and powerful lyrics.
For Jamws, however, this was not the intention. With the power of hindsight you can see how this brief collection of songs map out a relationship coming to its end and the space that grew between its protagonists, but it was started by cataloguing the distance itself that eventually separated them when his partner of ten years moved to Toronto to pursue an acting career.
Jamws describes the creative process as very cathartic, and that it was written and recorded on a kind of auto-pilot. He tells us “I didn’t go into the writing process thinking ‘ok, I’ve done a song about being afraid now I need to write one about being sad’, the songs just came. When I write I don’t tend to think too much, I just feel it out.”
Opening with the uplifting synth-fuelled pop of ‘See The World’, the joyful optimism is conveyed beautifully, as well as made all the more poignant to us, the listener, knowing the eventual outcome.
“This period was overwhelming, it honestly felt like my life had paused and love was slipping through my fingers. It was a process – I felt happiness for my partner living her dream, hope for a future with her, fear of losing her and eventually peace”
Follow-up and lead single ‘Playing For Keeps’ is a groove-laden, manic declaration of love. Channelling ‘Currents’ era Tame Impala and Khruangbin, it’s the soulful emotional high point of the record. With its searing guitars and audaciously funky bass, the track works to put you in the centre of its characters pained expression.
‘1’ paints a layered picture of the bridge between classic stages of denial and acceptance. The EP is bought down to one of its slower, more introspective moments, which balances some of the heat with its clarity, offering an alternative perspective, the kind we’re all given with time. It leads elegantly into title-track ‘Toronto’ which closes off the tale by looking back at the relationship and the positives that can be taken from it. The recording of the EP that ran alongside the relationship it depicted, poetically ended together.
“On the last day of recording I went to Resident Studios in West London to record vocals to finish the EP. The next day I met with my girlfriend for the first time in months and she broke up with me. The timing of that has always seemed so strange.”
‘Toronto’ is a journey, it’s a coming-of-age story crafted in a mature and honest way. It flows with occasionally delicate synth work to a more aggressive full band, just as people do, to match the sentiment of the piece. It closes with an epilogue of sorts with ‘Catalina’ which is a gloriously anthemic track that acts to tie the story up, leaving the listener ready to have their heart broken all over again.
“It was written before the break, I included it because it felt like the right note to end on. It’s like credits rolling on a movie, a celebration of love. Despite all the pain, it was worth it.”
There’s an intimate and voyeuristic element to the music that’s comforting, like the flawed or occasionally doomed romances of classic cinema. It provides a deep and very clear vision of something that everyone can relate to, but also serves as a lesson to cherish, learn and move on. In the end, something isn’t beautiful because it lasts.