It feels like English-born Irish singer, songwriter and musician JAKE KELLY has already packed a lifetime of experiences into his very young 20 years of age, having lived in England, Ireland, China, Vietnam, and now currently residing in Germany, with this amalgamation of diverse cultures, backgrounds and worldviews coming together perfectly on his brand new EP titled The Mandolin Tapes as premiered exclusively via Hotpress Magazine, which is set to be released on May 1, 2020. The Mandolin Tapes serve as the follow up to his debut EP Stories & Feelings from last December, with a third EP More Songs About Sadness, already scheduled for later this year.
Ever since the age of 7, Jake Kelly has had a strong relationship with writing and recording music – he played the flute in ensembles and orchestras as a child, before trying and failing to learn to play the guitar via traditional methods. He would pick up the guitar again in high school, learning to play on his own this time, by putting his guitar playing together with his new found passion for singing, an ability he had always had, but never used until then.
Kelly went on to sharpen his skills and passion for songwriting and playing music around bars and on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, through the rest of his teenage years, before gradually learning how to record and edit his music on the likes of GarageBand and LogicPro, and now, he continues to learn how to create new sounds and express himself musically.
His new project The Mandolin Tapes was written and recorded mostly on the mandolin, hence the name, with the 5-track EP chronicling a long period of self-reflection for Jake Kelly, after big changes in his life, and according to the Irishman, “writing and recording this record served as a way to dive into my mind, navigating cloudy thoughts to find some clarity”.
From the opening track ‘Dreaming Awake’, which sees Kelly coming to terms with things in life he has no control over, to finding and inevitably losing love on ‘Here We Are, Lost Again’, to ‘Peaks & Valleys’ about looking for a sign to show him what direction to take in life, to losing himself in a relationship on ‘Where’ to close the EP, Jake Kelly wears his heart on his sleeves throughout, led by honest and captivating songwriting, and consummate musicianship.
Speaking about how The Mandolin Tapes EP came together, and his inspiration for the project, Jake Kelly says, “This EP was written and recorded after I moved to Germany, from Ireland, which was a devastating transition that took some time to move past. I fell into a bout of depression and began drinking a lot. In order to try and understand and eventually overcome my hopelessness, regret and longing, I wrote ‘The Mandolin Tapes’. By focusing my time and energy on these songs, in close to isolation, I was able to get over some of these issues and find more passion in life. It took me quite some time to get out of a seemingly life-long rut. Music has always played an important role in that journey, and I think it will continue to do so for the rest of my life. I can only hope”.
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