JWestern releases new single ‘Active Guy’
Announces new EP ‘Midnight Thoughts’ for August 13th via Heist or Hit
Leeds alt-pop riser JWestern releases new single ‘Active Guy’ via Heist or Hit (Her’s, Brad Stank, Pizzagirl) and announces new EP ‘Midnight Thoughts’ for August 13th.
Inspired by the leftfield Jazz-influenced indie and Hip-Hop of Slum Village, Oscar Jerome and Tom Misch, it’s a relatable anthem, tackling the guilt we feel at not being productive at all times. An introspective and self-aware reminder not to fall thoughtlessly into burn-out culture.
As JWestern, AKA John Gooding, explains:
“‘Active Guy’ is a kind of ode to myself. At the time of writing it I was burnt out from working a 9-5 job leaving me drained all the time. When it came to the weekend I just wanted to kick back and listen to music, but I always felt this expectation that I had to be productive all the time, bettering myself in some way. Waking up at the crack of dawn and going for a run then doing a massive list of jobs, it just isn’t for me – on a Sunday at least. When it came to writing the track it all began with the line “you think that I’m crazy – cause I just want to be lazy” and I thought, what do I want to do on a Sunday? It all kind of snowballed from there and the lyrics just fell into place.”
This sentiment is reflected in the production choice also:
“I wanted the beat itself to seem quite lazy and laid back, so the kick and bass are lax and sloppy. The instruments have a dreamy kind of quality as well, almost as if someone’s half awake, going between dozing off and just starting to wake up.
I kind of imagine the chorus as a bit of a an ‘anti-lazy’ section, cause honestly, I want it to pick people up who are similar to me, struggling to motivate themselves to open the curtains and instead make them want to bounce around their room a bit at 7am.”
Starting a release with a sample that could instantly bring a sharp anxiety-driven influence, the audience is hooked especially when the sample fades and this hazy aura engulfs the listener and takes their awareness a million miles from that first initial soundbite. JWestern has this profound ability to curate a world and a specific immersive ambiance that ultimately becomes this compelling vibe, that vibe will alter the audiences’ mood without a doubt. Creating this world filled with the most honest lyrics, JWestern captures this reflective story amongst their creation, these words we can all relate to especially right now. By allowing the sumptuous soundscape to boost the intimate touch from the raw lyrics and warm vocal harmonies, JWestern proves this unstoppable ability to connect to so many.
art indie-adjacent R&B crooner whose soundwaves crash onto the shores of jazz and hip-hop, part mineworker cracking gems at the cliff face of pop, JWestern’s delivery is distinctly British; sardonic asides and northern vernacular dripping from his semi-rap flow. However, being also indebted to a new breed of genreless US artists in Gus Dapperton, or Omar Apollo, he combines both sides of the coin to create a woozy transatlantic sound.
JWestern is ready to step into the hazy space occupied by Easy Life, Arlo Parks, Yellow Days or Still Woozy – with the likes of Billboard, Vogue (Paris), The Line of Best Fit, Clash Magazine, DORK, GIGWISE and BBC Radio 1 proclaiming themselves as fans in this mission.
‘Active Guy’ is the new single from JWestern, out now via Heist or Hit, ahead of new EP ‘Midnight Thoughts’ on August 13th.
28th August – This Must Be The Place Festival, Leeds
6th October – Headrow House, Leeds