Leeds alt-pop riser JWestern unveils first single of 2021 ‘Aspirin’, out via Heist or Hit today.
Luscious guitar washes, shuffling drums, and a heavy bass groove provide the pastel-toned room in which JWestern’s (AKA John Gooding) featherbed vocals bounce around, painting a picture of claustrophobic emotional feedback loops.
It picks up where last year’s debut EP ‘Just People’ left off in its jazz-meets-hip-hop colouration, exploring themes of overthinking, inaction and saying too much while not saying enough. This established the 411 of the JWestern biosphere, but this time round John is writing at an even more open and vulnerable level:
“Being so isolated and restricted this last year I found myself trapped in my own head, spending hours reflecting on past experiences and how those experiences have fed into me as a person”, he confides. “Similar to ‘Just People’, I’ve always used my songs as a coping mechanism, but this time it just felt easier to be more honest than before. I’m scared of my feelings, scared of the future, scared of losing the people around me, and for long periods I put a shutter over certain parts of my brain just trying to keep those thoughts at bay. Predictably, in the early hours of the morning, I’d find myself awake contemplating all these different thoughts. All these songs stem from those moments, half-awake, alone, writing everything down on the notes app of my phone.”