JWestern unveils ‘Regret It All’, his most pensive cut to date. Out today via Heist or Hit it trails his debut EP ‘Just People’, out October 23rd.
Part indie-adjacent R&B crooner whose soundwaves crash onto the shores of jazz and hip-hop, part mineworker cracking gems at the cliff face of pop, JWestern’s (AKA John Gooding) delivery is distinctly British; sardonic asides and northern vernacular dripping from his semi-rap flow. However, also indebted to a new breed of genreless US artists in Gus Dapperton, or Omar Apollo, he combines both sides of the coin to create a woozy transatlantic sound.
Writing and recording ‘Regret It All’ specifically was a formative experience for John, a penny drop moment where he realised his self-produced style could become a mode of expression. The emotion of the lyrics and melodies emboldened through digital and analogue techniques.
The echoing vocals and reverberating guitar licks that open the track signify thoughts bouncing around his head as he tries to come to terms with an imperfect relationship. This transformed the titular line from the track – ‘don’t make me regret it all’ – from a self-confessedly throwaway phrase, to a courier for the sentiments he was aiming to convey:
“I wanted the synths in the verses to push and pull to illustrate my frame of mind never being constantly in the right headspace, and rather dipping in and out of clarity for a long time.”
The actual content of the line is less important than the picture it paints when fused with these production techniques. This effect was not only achieved through computerised means:
“‘Regret It All’ is the only track on the EP which features the original acoustic guitar I’ve had since I was 6, which all my songs normally start on. For quite a while I thought it lacked movement and groove in the verse/chorus so I thought I’d try finger picking the chords over the top and straight away it changed my perspective of the song.”