Embrace the evocative melodies and resilient spirit of alt-indie acoustic singer-songwriter Jay Wood as she unveils her highly anticipated EP, Respire. Hailing from the vibrant musical landscape of Perth, Western Australia, Jay Wood's artistry has garnered comparisons to luminaries like Phoebe Bridgers and Missy Higgins, showcasing her unique blend of emotive storytelling and sonic innovation. With a remarkable journey of personal triumph at its core, 'Respire' is more than an EP—it's a testament to the human capacity for resilience, choice, and the pursuit of profound musical expression. Stef from The MIC sat down with Jay Wood to discuss her journey to Respire.
SJ: Hi Jay! After hearing your two previously released singles, "Oh Well" and "Initial Pulse," we are so excited to sit down and chat about the EP!
JW: That’s awesome, thanks for having me! You know I love a good chin-wag haha :)
1. SJ: Can you tell us a little bit about what inspired you to create this EP, Respire?
JW: Respire was a very personal goal of mine after I was told I was “totally and permanently incapacitated” and would never work again, post-collision at just 24 years of age. After suffering many losses (including my career as a Teacher) I was staring down the barrel of another 60+ years of what? Twiddling my thumbs? The thought of never being able to contribute to the world again in some way, was terrifying and deeply saddening for me. I decided I simply couldn’t live the rest of my life this way. Instead, I chose to task myself with
overcoming every little thing that I was told I couldn’t do again. (I REALLY don’t like being underestimated haha) Music has always been a hobby/passion of mine, so I decided to put my energy into re-teaching myself how to play and then it all went from there! As far as I’m concerned, the sky’s the limit! (wherever I choose the sky to be ;) haha)
2. SJ: What was the writing process like for this record? Do you like to collaborate with artists, or do you prefer to write alone?
JW: Performing among my many friends and acquaintances.
3. SJ: What was the writing process like for this record? Do you like to collaborate with artists, or do you prefer to write alone?
JW: Most of the songs from this EP were written both pre-collision, and then again post-collision (due to me losing the ability to play or remember any of my songs). So, the songs began as scrawls of lyrics on a notepad, with no chords or music accompanying these notes as I could always simply remember how to play them or how they went! Then, of course, post-collision I had absolutely no recollection whatsoever! It was a very long and arduous process, digging deep into my cognition, to remember/re-write the songs based on these messy scribbles of lyrics. Basically, every song on this EP (except "Initial Pulse"), in some way or another, is very different from how they were initially written.
In terms of working with other artists, I thoroughly
enjoyed that process! Working alongside some fantastically talented people, who managed to take my fumbling directions and thoughts about how I wanted my songs to sound, and turn them into the beautiful sounds we hear is an absolute privilege! I am so grateful for that!
4. SJ: What did the recording process look like? How did working with a producer at Norman Solander Studios, help you shape the story in the EP?
JW: Recording with Darryn Ball from Norman Solander Studios was a very intense learning process for me! Darryn was exceptionally patient with my overall timeline (including health setbacks) and he always helped me to understand every part of the process involved with
recording. He is very talented at what he does and I will be forever grateful for his ability to capture the authenticity of my musical style. He and I both agree that hearing authentic instruments/music is always the best! In addition, learning to play to a click track was one thing that really challenged me with my brain's inability to multitask, BUT we got there in the end! Haha, thanks Daz!
5. SJ: What part or song of Respire do you think will resonate most with listeners? Which is your favorite?
JW: This is an impossible question to answer! Haha, everyone is completely different, with a different story! I do however think that although everyone’s story is different, we all interconnect at some point in our life journeys, so with that, I’m sure something I have written will hit someone at some point and we will connect :) (how
awesome is that!) Personally, I really dig "Hidden Face".
SJ: What is one song you wish Jay Wood wrote?
JW:I can honestly say, that this is something I have never once thought about! I can relate to many songs from many different genres/artists but I don’t think I’d want
to have written anyone else’s song haha it’s their individual story to tell, in their style and I have my own, to add to the wonderful tapestry of music!
SJ: What’s next for Jay Wood?
JW: There are some very exciting opportunities that have presented themselves since releasing music, and I am just taking it one day/step at a time! I will end up exactly where I am supposed to be, and this whole music journey is just such a TRIP! I am convinced my life is a movie haha :) All I can say is stay tuned, crew!
SJ: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us about Respire! We can’t wait to see what you create next!
JW: Thank you so much for your questions and time! I am very excited to keep sharing with everyone and riding this musical wave!
Listen to Respire below!