by Chris Bryson
Time is Jeremy Haywood-Smith’s coming of age story.
Haywood-Smith’s dreamy psychedelic funk-pop project JayWood has been developing over the years into new creative realms, taking forms meant to get people moving.
For the new JayWood album, Time, Haywood-Smith evolved it in concept form. “It’s kind of like a radio surfing channel thing,” says Haywood-Smith. “I broke the album into three different sections. One of them is like the stuff I’m used to doing. The next one is really funky, really poppy, really dance-y songs. And the next one is very shoegazey, very field sounding. And within those change-ups there’s little skits here and there.”
With such a complex concept and diverse sounds and elements cohesiveness can be difficult, but Haywood-Smith has been working hard to make sure everything fits. “That’s the reason it’s been taking me so long to mix it, if you will,” says Haywood-Smith. “Because I wrote the album like a script, so it’s like rather than just having the songs and putting them on a track list, it’s like no this song has to be here and it has to be this length and it needs to go into this.”
Haywood-Smith calls Time a very inward album. It moves from his experiences as an angsty teenager to who he is now, leaving things on a cliff-hanger that matches the inevitability of life, because he, like anybody, doesn’t know exactly what the future holds.
Time was recorded in the studio which Haywood-Smith says gives it a crisper quality. Normally he would do all the instrumentation himself but says that because he was out of practice with drums, he let others fill the role. The album features three drummers, all of which have played with JayWood in the past, that Haywood-Smith says works well with the concept through the different sound and feeling of the players.
The album’s cover is another indicator of where Haywood-Smith wants to take JayWood in the future. The owl masked person on the album cover is supposed to be the real-life representation of the band’s logo character. Haywood-Smith and an old roommate came up with the idea of bringing the character to life. So Haywood-Smith says he kind of followed the format of the Gorillaz, one of his favourite bands, converting 2-D into 3-D and then bringing the characters into real life.
After releasing the album this year Haywood-Smith wants to start making videos. “I have no video content, but I want to use the album to make video content. I want to really ride on that. I just want to have so much fun. I want to be like the Jordan Peele of music videos,” says Haywood-Smith. “The way he makes movies is just so very, like yeah, I get that vibe and that’s what I’m trying to do.”
Aside from Time’s album release, JayWood is set to play the Real Love Summer Fest for the first time this year, and will be returning a second time to Calgary’s Sled Island. Haywood-Smith also hopes to work out a dream collaboration with local hip-hop group 3Peat.
With Time ready for the world, Haywood-Smith is happy it’s done so he can start writing new music and says that he needed this album’s completion to mark the end of an era, so he can move onto new branches of stories and emotions.
JayWood will be releasing Time on Friday, June 7 at the Good Will Social Club with support from local acts ATLAAS and Arenas.