JayWood – the moniker of Winnipeg musician & songwriter Jeremy Haywood-Smith – announces his new album, Slingshot (Captured Tracks), out July 15th, and shares its lead single/video, “Just Sayin.” Since 2015, JayWood has captured the young writer’s journey of self-discovery and heartache through unique songwriting and an ever-evolving sound. 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. Through a year of self-reflection and reconnection with his roots, Haywood-Smith has made the biggest leap forward for JayWood by simply looking back. Slingshot is a self-portrait of JayWood at his surface and his depths, merging fantasy scenarios, personal anecdotes, and infectious pop and dance instrumentals.
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, and 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. One song was co-produced with Jacob Portrait of Unknown Mortal Orchestra.
Today’s “Just Sayin” was originally written by Haywood-Smith with the intention to be given to another artist to perform, but he pushed himself to expand his vocal range and embody the confidence that pop music requires for the track. “The song is about creating equal opportunity for people in need, and lending a helping hand if you can,” says Haywood-Smith. “It’s a super simple thought that I think could easily get overlooked, but having a catchy reminder like this might subliminally provoke some thought.”
JayWood Tour Dates:
Thu. May 5 – Wrexham, UK @ Penny Black Room (FOCUS Wales)
Fri. May 6 – Wrexham, UK @ Ty Pawb (FOCUS Wales)
Sat. May 7 – London, UK @ The Fox Inn
Tue. May 10 – London, UK @ Strongman
Fri. May 13 – Brighton, UK @ Green Door Store (The Great Escape)
Sat. May 14 – Brighton, UK @ Green Door Store (The Great Escape)