Recommended Tracks: “foolish,” “cambridge,” “pilot”
Artists You May Like: Jillian Dawn, Annie Leppert, Jordan Dean
“Isn’t that weird? Like… isn’t that weird? I don’t like to think about it too much,” said NYC-based singer-songwriter Jake Brewer on having performed for a ticketed audience at his release show for new EP for her eyes only, which is out now, several weeks ago. The show was held at cozy Lower East Side venue Heaven Can Wait. “The shows I’m putting on aren’t necessarily involved in this issue, but with how wild the world of ticketing is right now, it feels weird to contribute to that. It’s still something I’m mentally and professionally navigating. I didn’t need to walk away with a penny… this was just a celebration for me, and an opportunity and a platform to thank the people that worked on this EP in a very public, personal way.”
No Days Off
Brewer is, and has always been, the definition of a workaholic. During a previous conversation in January 2022, he discussed having just moved to New York after graduating from Boston University, working on music, building a brand, traveling, and working in fashion. Now, he manages multiple artists under his expanding FRNDLY Media group, interviews fellow creatives for his new podcast “Groundbreaking,” is an independent artist, and more.
“I’m at the point where I’ve worked to for a very long time and am really reflective… in a more imaginative and realistic way,” he said, on progressing through these times of intense career-building. “My day is filled with music, writing, and being an artist. Then, a huge portion of my day is managing artists and building a company. Right now… we’re going through all the plans for 2024. There is always a writing and production piece going, whether it be me or an artist I’m working with, and then an actively touring or promoting piece, whether it be me or an artist I’m working with.”
More Than Just ‘The Boy Next Door’
While creating for her eyes only, Brewer wanted to expand on the theme of being seen as “the boy next door” that he explored on his last project objects in mirror are closer than they appear. “I still embrace that persona a lot, but I wanted to challenge that a little bit,” he said. “The thing about the boy next door is that we never go inside the house. I wanted to write about what goes on inside the house, meaning my actual experiences that I hadn’t really translated into a song before.”
That initial framework lead to songs like “sweetly” and “could I ever love u if I tried?,” both of which showcase Brewer’s impressive vocal growth since his earlier work. The former highlights his lower baritone, while the latter is all about his mid-range chest voice and executing vocal control. “I lie when I say goodnight, and it never felt right/ Oh, I’m hurting myself when I say all those lies/ But could I even love u if I tried?”
“objects in mirror… really was a transitional time for me,” said Brewer. “Making that album was when I accepted that I wanted to try and make different music rather than what I fully felt comfortable with.” While he still holds that record close to his heart, he feels as though he was going through a quarter-life crisis while making it, and that he was chasing a specific sound rather than letting it come naturally. On this new project, he expanded his reach creatively.
Praise For “foolish”
“I spent a lot of last summer writing and sending it to as many people in New York as possible being like, ‘I think I’m ready to make the collaborative project that I’ve been afraid to do for a long time,’” he said. “There is a lot of insecurity as an artist… like, ‘Am I ready for this?’, ‘Is my writing good enough to take up a producers time?’ and I had to get over that.”
While “could I even…” and “head rush” allow for Brewer to open up emotionally, songs like “foolish” and “I’m ur sinner” are the best representations of both the more pop-leaning side of the record and the trust he built with the producers involved that helped him get there. “foolish” in particular is a standout… easily his best pure pop song since “pilot.” From the opening lines, it was clear the producer understood how to best highlight Brewer’s sweet, conversational lower tone: “My friends are glad I left her/ Faced down the frames and pictures/ Like a silhouette’s the only company I keep.” The rest of the track follows the type of easy listening pop-rock Brewer is best at, with impressive falsetto runs in the post-chorus that serve as necessary parts of the production.
” … so we’ll leave this one for your eyes only.”
As a whole, this project reflects both the internal and external responses to an impactful love in a succinctly conceptual manner. On “short version of a longer story,” he addresses the listener while referencing the title of the project as it stands: “Empty are the crates marked for her eyes only,” while on closing track “cambridge,” he switches the perspective: “A year ago it’d be another story/ So we’ll leave this one for her eyes only.”
“I liked the secretiveness of that,” he said. “I wanted the outside perspective to say, ‘for her eyes only,’ … to feel like ‘You’re not supposed to look at this.’ But once you’re hearing it, you’re hearing me address it as ‘her.’ If I had said, ‘We’ll leave this one for HER eyes only,’ at the end of ‘cambridge,’ that would imply that it’s ok that you’re listening to this. But when I say, ‘for your eyes only,’ you know I’m not talking to you. So, there’s this element of, ‘I shouldn’t be listening to this’ that makes it fun. It was the ultimate intention. This was a new style of the way that I was writing that maybe I didn’t grow into, but was there and you’d just never heard it before.”
Stream for her eyes only: