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Inspired by old and new

A new album is in the pipeline for Gisborne-based Jackson Rey after contemplating the complications of life.

Inspired by contradictions, injustices and coincidences, Jackson says he distilled the quirks of life into song.

Two of those tracks from his upcoming album, Out of Key and Own Advice, are available now on streaming services online.

“I found myself in Auckland for a period of time with a handful of songs I wanted to set down,” said Jackson.

Initially, Jackson — also known as Paul Jackson — booked some time in the recording studio The Lab with producer Scott Seabright to make an EP.

Scott has worked behind the scenes with artists like Mumford and Sons, Six60 and Fat Freddy’s Drop.

After the first sessions went well, he decided to book more time and complete an album set to drop in the coming months.

Each song has a story behind it.

“The lyrics for Out of Key were triggered by the idea of seeing traumatic things online, unaware that they were real.

“The song’s verses are addressing unity and compassion among groups of people, and the choruses are an opposing voice telling you to forget about such vague concepts and get back to being distracted . . . just watch some football on TV.”

Jackson recorded the guitar bass lines and vocals in the studio before bringing in three session players for drums, piano and keys.

“Then we did extra guitars, harmonica, and harmonies. Scott played some guitar parts and keys later in post-production as well.”

Jackson’s music plucks flavours from the old and the new; from the guitar-based music of Neil Young, Bob Dylan and the Beatles to the more recent Sun Kil Moon and Jose Gonzalez, who play with open tuning and nylon strings.

“I started playing the guitar at the age of 13, mostly the electric guitar in rock bands, later getting more interested in acoustic guitar. As I developed the solo work, I learned to play the harmonica.”

Jackson says his music fulfils the need for creative expression.

“There is a need to create something unique and to put lyrical images and symbols to soundscapes, grooves and melodies.

“It is a long road of continual development and discovery, and I tend to do it without thinking too much these days.”

DRIVEN BY MUSIC: Gisborne-based singer-songwriter Jackson Rey has been busy writing for and recording an album. Picture by John Flatt, Lightseeker Photography