After spending the last few months unveiling a wealth of bright and euphoric new delights, emerging artist Jesse Dill aka Scrawny has now delivered his vibrant new EP 'I could learn a thing or two'.
Led up by the soaring lead single 'Space', 'I could learn a thing or two' showcases him as a bold and enticing name rising right now. With its sweeping psych-pop textures, warming atmosphere, and his own mesmerising vocals layered throughout, he is certainly setting himself up for big things with this release.
So with the new EP available now, we sat down with him to find out more about his origins and what has inspired himself throughout the last few years.
What was the first instrument you fell in love with?
I know the answer should be piano, because it was the first instrument I taught myself and it is always my go-to when writing songs. But, I think the ukulele was the first instrument I fell in love with. It is such a versatile instrument and gets disregarded as a "just a toy" most times. That's probably part of the reason why I like it, because it feels like an underdog. It is also one of the first instruments my wife and I played together, so it will always have a special place in my heart.
What kind of music did you love when you were younger?
Anything that my Father was listening to. He had a large vinyl collection and was always playing something different in the house. So I was listening to James Taylor, The Beatles, Thelonious Monk, Yes and The Mamas & the Papas. My Father still has an extensive vinyl collection and he gives me great music suggestions all the time.
What was the first album you remember owning?
The first album I remember owning was a cassette tape of The Monkees Greatest Hits. I would listen to that tape over and over. I still to this day listen to "Shades of Gray" and "Daydream Believer" back to back because of it.
What is the one song you wished you could have written yourself?
Wouldn't It Be Nice by The Beach Boys. That song is incredible. The instrumentation is so complex but it fits together perfectly. It has the iconic Beach Boys vocals and harmonies that I love. If you haven't listened to it in a while, go get your best pair of headphones and give it an honest listen. It is a near perfect song. I could go on about it, but it's a song I never get tired of.
Do you have any habits or rituals you go through when trying to write new music?
I typically write new music with the melody in mind first. So, I will hum or sing out nonsense while trying to work out a song. What happens most times is that "nonsense" ends up being some of the final lyrics of the song, because I get so attached to it. But, there is no one way I've found to be best when writing a song. Songwriting is all about finding something unique that excites you, and I think it's best to discover that through different methods, instruments and influences.
Who are your favourite artists you have found yourself listening to at the moment?
grandson has been putting out some great music. A good song to start with as an introduction to his music is: "Blood // Water." I've also recently discovered a band from the 60's called The Seekers. Going through their discography has been a delight! I'd suggest giving "Georgy Girl" a listen. Just beautiful harmonies!
If you could open a show for anyone in the world, who would it be?
I would love to open for Twenty One Pilots. They have such an incredible stage presence and energy. They are also one of my favorite bands. Tyler and Josh seem so genuine and honest. It would be amazing to open for them and get the audience ramped up for their performance.
What do you find is the most rewarding part about being a musician?
The therapeutic task of getting words out of my system. The expression of thoughts that I feel have been locked away. I always hope that my music can connect with others and possibly even help them. But, as much as it's helping others, it's helping myself too. Being a musician has helped me work through some internal battles I've fought. I'm very grateful for that outlet.
And what is the most frustrating part?
The most frustrating part is not feeling good enough or not liking my own work. Sometimes, I'll show my wife a song and she'll love it. But, I talk down on it because I don't feel it's the best I can do. I frustrate myself with my own perfectionist expectations. I'm learning to accept that good music can come from something that may not be perfect; and usually that's why someone likes something in the first place. If all music was programmed to be "perfect," it would be lifeless. So, that is a balance I'm still learning: between excellence and imperfection.
And what is the best piece of advice you have received as a musician?
It sounds silly but, "practice." There are many talented and skillful musicians, but they did not get that way overnight. Practice every day, build up your skills and muscle memory. Challenge yourself to get better at an instrument you may not be comfortable on. I still have the mentality of, "I don't know how to play guitar," because that pushes me to keep learning. That's advice I received in high school and I continue to tell it to myself all the time.
Scrawny's new EP 'I could learn a thing or two' is available to stream now. Check out the new video for lead single 'Space' in the player below.