JayWood Presents New Single/Video, “Thank You”
JayWood – the moniker of Winnipeg musician & songwriter Jeremy Haywood-Smith – presents a new single/video, “Thank You,” from his forthcoming album, Slingshot, out July 15th on Captured Tracks. The album’s penultimate track, “Thank You” was co-produced with Jacob Portrait of Unknown Mortal Orchestra & Blouse and features string arrangements by Johan Lenox. The song brings JayWood’s sound full circle, offering something reminiscent of Haywood-Smith’s earliest recordings while flaunting that “the best is yet to come.” “‘Thank You’ is a song that’s dedicated to the folks that aren’t really in my life anymore, but more importantly it’s for my mom who passed away back in 2019.” says Haywood-Smith. “I feel like this song kinda wrote itself, it felt so easy to put together because I knew the core of what I was trying to get across. The demo for this song felt super strong but after Jake and I spent some time expanding a few ideas, the song really blossomed into something I couldn’t ever imagine.”
The charming accompanying video, directed by Chantel Simpson, shows Haywood-Smith passing out flowers across Harlem.
Watch Jaywood’s Video for “Thank You”
The narrative for Slingshot takes place in the span of one day. From the first track to the last track, JayWood takes you on a journey that touches on themes of childhood, religion, and identity. While writing and recording the album, Haywood-Smith put together a complex “script” mapping out all of the plot points, environments, characters that make up this surreal version of his real life. Musically, Haywood-Smith wrote and performed a bulk of the track’s instrumentations, but the LP has notable appearances from Canadian contemporaries Ami Cheon and McKinley Dixon, and fellow Manitoban musician Kayla Fernandes who fronts the doom-metal band Vagina Witchcraft. Despite the culturally homogenous nature of his hometown, Haywood-Smith takes inspiration from a wide range of Black performers and artists working in all genres and eras. “This album felt like I was making something that I would want my younger self to hear.”
Born and raised in the Canadian prairies, JayWood has captured Haywood-Smith’s journey of self-discovery and heartache through unique songwriting since 2015. After the loss of his mother in 2019 and a global standstill with multiple social crises throughout 2020, Haywood-Smith yearned for forward momentum. “The idea of looking back to go forward became a really big thing for me—hence the title, ‘Slingshot,’” Haywood-Smith explains. Feeling disconnected from his past and ancestry after the death of a parent, Haywood-Smith made a conscious effort to better understand his identity and unique Black experience living in the predominantly white province of Manitoba. Slingshot is a self-portrait of JayWood at his surface and his depths, merging fantasy scenarios, personal anecdotes, and infectious pop and dance instrumentals.
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