AOTW: JayWood – Grow On

September 4th, 2023 by Liz Kosik

by Liz Kosik ’25

Album of the Week: JayWoodGrow On

Released: August 2023

Rate: 9/10

RIYL: The Breathing Room, Wax Machine, Niall Mutter, RHNO

JayWood, a Canadian artist who is recognized for his talents as a singer, songwriter, and producer, has gained popularity for creating a unique blend of low-key bedroom pop that incorporates various elements of jangling indie rock, R&B, psych, and funk. He started by independently releasing his 2019 LP, Time, out of his home base in Winnipeg, which soon led him to sign with Captured Tracks and release his highly acclaimed 2021 EP, Some Days. His musical style continued to evolve with his second album, Slingshot, in 2022, which showcased his diverse range of musical styles.

As a teenager in Manitoba’s capital city, Jeremy Haywood-Smith developed a passion for music, initially learning the drums before taking on the guitar. He was influenced by a diverse range of genres, including reggae, classic soul, Daft Punk, Beck, and Outkast. In 2015, Haywood-Smith found himself in a difficult position in his personal life, grappling with questions about his own sense of identity. Seeking a creative outlet, he turned to songwriting and, armed with a borrowed laptop and minimal equipment, taught himself the basics of music production. The result was an EP’s worth of material recorded under the moniker JayWood.

As of August 2023, JayWood has released possibly the best 4-track album I have ever listened to. Grow On is built upon the songs of “Heavy Eyes”, “Dirk Gently (Know Yourself)”, “Thank You”, and “SWEET.” Even with minimal songs, JayWood shows up and shows out. Each song is filled with enthusiasm and lightheartedness, accompanied by a groove and energetic bump. He proves that passion and vision can outshine our lack of resources, creating a lane that is specifically catered to his sound. Essential listen for any vibe.

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