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Sometimes, you don’t realize when an artist has taken over your “listening life.” You know…the space that occupies the the airwaves in between subway rides, jogs (yea right), and your office speakers. It’s not until someone asks, “who’s this again?” that you realize that your listening habits have begun to effect others. On this edition of “Who’s Damian Musically Inceptioning Us With Now?” we’ve got Jack Garratt.

I first discovered Jack Garratt last year through his first single “I Couldn’t Want You Anyway.” In fact, I remember the very moment I became a fan. If you listen through the track from the beginning, the moment the song “officially” kicks in, 1:37, I was hooked. If you think hard enough, every introductory song to an artist has one (or more) of these moments. It’s the moment you decide you’re going to dig deeper. The moment you agree to join a stranger on a journey and have a conversation in the “universal language.”

My personal recommendation (besides catching him on tour with MS MR & Verite this month) is to take a dive through his most recent EP, “Synesthesiac.” He aims to induce the feeling of Synesthesia (feeling/experiencing one sense through another, i.e. tasting colors or feeling numbers) and he does it beautifully. For example the first song, “Synesthesia, Pt. 1” opens with a very analog feel: papers rustling, the sound of a record player — very tangible sounds. The piano then plays as if through said record player until he makes you feel it all in the clearest and most digital way at around 1:13. The song later feedback-reverbs into the haunting & phasing voice of Lisa Fischer (peep this real quick) which seamlessly transitions to “The Love You’re Given” (see above). Garratt also opened his set with a version of this song and the effect translates seamlessly in the real world, as indicated by the involuntary “WOOs” from the audience behind me.

It was easy to forget that he was an opening act until he humbly reminded the audience on many occassions. His stage presence is explosive, producing a sound worthy of an entire band all on his own. He nimbly juggled between playing his electronic drum pads, keyboard, and laying down some serious solos on his electric guitar. He even payed homage to his fellow Brits by delivering a silky guitar rendition of Disclosure’s “Latch.”

Feeling overwhelmed by the particulars? That’s alright. I implore you to take a listen for yourself and try not to be as intrigued. According to our intern who’s with us from the UK, it takes a bit for us Yanks to really get the good music from across the pond. If Mr. Garratt continues to play as he did here in NY, it won’t be long before he’s making his rounds again, headlining his own shows. Until then, I’ll continue to subtly (read: not subtly) slip in a song or two in future playlists.

‘Til then Sir Garratt. ‘Til then.

Setlist

Synesthesia Pt. 1

Water

Chemical

Weathered

Latch (Disclosure Cover)

The Love You’re Given

Worry