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Release Details

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Jacks, Paul

Defractor
(Tritone Records)
Release Date: November 30, 2018

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The city of Anchorage is located at the terminus of the Cook Inlet in the south-central portion of Alaska. With its long, brutal winters and close proximity to active volcanos, the city is as beautiful as it is dangerous. Here is where we find Paul Jacks.

A prolific songwriter by night, Jacks’ dedication to his craft is apparent. “I work a job that specifically allows me to work in the studio in waves,” he says. “I try to do something in the studio on a daily basis even if it’s just some lyric writing.” His devotion to his craft is packaged delightfully as new surprise in every track of his forthcoming album, Defractor. Despite Jacks’s 11-year devotion to indie-pop with his band, Smile Ease, he plays to his other interests in darker, almost morbid, concepts laced in synth sounds. The influence of artists like Gary Numan, OMD, Joy Division, New Order, David Bowie, Simple Minds, and Tears for Fears inflect Jacks’ literary and musical devices.

On Defractor’s “Laid To Rest” Jacks’s metallic vocals echo with a ghostly plead, “Won’t you comfort me help me through this / out of this moment comes projection to face your fears / will you hold my cold hand as it fades and it disappears,” and his vivid imagery delivers the listener directly into his dark world themes. This track has a temporal feel of the here-and-now. His request to be comforted by a loved one until he can be “Laid To Rest” is a rather grim one that has a ghoulish feel when his pleading tone is joined by ethereal and almost supernatural synth sounds.

This theme prevails throughout the album and steeps itself into other tracks such as ”Lightning Lobotomy.” The tone of this track is very detached and otherworldly, and the lyrics only add to its aloofness “I’d rather be at home in the quick of the night / I’ll stare in outer space for as long as I like / struck by tragedy lightning lobotomy…” These visceral feelings and velvety vocals sound like a whisper within a dream, melding with the music’s dark undertones and lush harmonies to evoke a consciousness shift that emanates from Defractor.

Defractor is Paul Jacks’s first solo album. It will be available for a short run of vinyl as well as on streaming platforms, such as Spotify, Amazon, and iTunes. It is the inaugural release on Jacks’s own Tritone Records imprint. The label will also be offering the Smile Ease back catalog.


Photos: Sonny Ogle


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