Listen: Jack Garratt will put some poke in your playlist
As a child of the 80s my musical tastes were definitely shaped by keyboards – Depeche Mode, Howard Jones, Erasure, in fact practically every band I can think of back then had someone bashing away on a keyboard at some point in the music vid (usually wearing eye-liner that looked like it had been applied by a toddler).
So it’s not surprising that I had an immediate soft spot for Jack Garratt when I heard his stuff on R1 (Mudlets often take control of the car radio and we occasionally find a tuneful nugget). Wow! Keyboards have come on though – they make the ones from the 80s look and sound like something from the Early Learning Centre.
Local boy Garratt (he’s from just over the border, Little Chalfont in Bucks) just happens to sing, write, play numerous instruments and produces all his own records. Don’t some people just make you sick?
His music almost defies categorisation as he blends so many influences – rock, pop, dubstep, electronica. He admits to ‘genre hopping’ quite a bit – flipping and tripping between keyboard wizardry and guitar-based balladry. And his voice is sweeeeet! He goes low-down growly and then swings it high up in the tree tops à la Sam Smith.
His appearance on the BBC Introducing stage at the 2014 Reading Festival and topping the BBC’s Sound of 2016 charts in January were both points at which people started to sit up and take notice. He also supported Mumford and Sons on their recent UK arena tour and was awarded the Critics’ Choice prize at the Brits.
He’s just released his debut album Phase and I’ve been playing it non-stop on Spotify for the past week, driving Mr P insane (although he loves it too – there’s only so much repetition he can take). It’s just all so surprising – hippy, trippy, funky, electronic-y (totally IS a word) magic. A few of my favourite tracks are the opening one Coalesce, and also Breathe Life, Worry and the hauntingly beautiful The Love You’re Given.
You can listen to a few of his tracks (including Worry and Breathe Life) on Sound Cloud to give you a feel for his stuff. Although his current tour is sold out, he released tickets for his November 2016 Tour on his Facebook page on Monday so if you get in quick you might be lucky as they are going *fast*. I really think it’s the last time he’ll be doing small gigs – JG is going stratospheric – so go and see him now.
Not bad for a guy who as a cheeky 13-year-old tried to be the UK’s entrant at Junior Eurovision with a composition called The Girl. It came last, but who’s having the last laugh now. Nil points? I don’t think so.
Tickets for Jack Garratt’s November 2016 UK Tour are available here.