JACOB AND THE DAZEY CHAIN, the Brit-pop/rock-influenced singer, songwriter, guitarist and recent Nashville transplant from South Florida, today (September 20) releases his debut EP THE SKY IS ALL I NEED TO GET HIGH on indie label Gratuitous Noise. LISTEN HERE to the EP on all streaming platforms and check out JACOB’s quotes below about the songs.
All the songs on the six-song EP were written by JACOB REESE THORNTON and inspired by his longtime musical influences including R.E.M., Oasis, Lindsey Buckingham and Fleetwood Mac; as a young teen, he admired their albums when they were played around the house. All the tracks on THE SKY IS ALL I NEED TO GET HIGH were arranged and produced by JACOB, with two of them, “Traces” and the title song “The Sky Is All I Need To Get High,” co-produced with Bill Reynolds (Band of Horses) who also played bass. All the vocals and guitars were performed by JACOB, with Rami Jaffee (Foo Fighters) on B3 organ. Drummers Jerry Roe (Legendary Shack Shakers) and Lee Levin (Kelly Clarkson, Ricky Martin, Barry Gibb) also appear on select tracks.
“The overall theme is about finding hope in moments of uncertainty, and taking chances,” says JACOB about the EP. “Most of the songs were written when I was 17. Everyone at that age understands how daunting the future seems. Especially when it sneaks up on you. While it might not have been a conscious effort, when I listen back on these songs, I’m hearing my own inner dialogue--all the universal emotions that come with trying to find your purpose and place in the world. I’m a true believer in the idea that everything put in front of you is there for a reason, and that you have to follow your signal and embrace the path that calls you. That’s a driving force behind many of my songs.”
Three singles were released leading up to the EP: “Traces” (Jan ’21), “The Kids” (May ’21) and “Swan Dive” (July ’21). JACOB AND THE DAZEY CHAIN is a three-time winner in Classic Rock Magazine’s “New Tracks of the Week” reader’s poll. “Traces” entered the top 20 Play MPE downloads across all AAA/Rock specialty stations and Top 10 (#9) streaming charts and receives regular play on Little Steven’s Underground Garage on SiriusXM with Los Angeles DJ Rodney Bingenheimer.
JACOB’s guitar and vocal skills are not new to those who have seen him perform by invitation at Eric Clapton’s 2019 Crossroads Guitar Festival. He has also played on stage with Bruce Kulick (Kiss & Grand Funk Railroad) and Todd Kerns and Brent Fitz (from Slash & The Conspirators). In addition, he’s collaborated with bass legend Tony Franklin (The Firm, Jimmy Page & Paul Rodgers) on a searing cover of "I Can See For Miles" by The Who (watch here).
"So so talented--I think we are going to be talking about this kid for years and years..."
~Larry Flick, SiriusXM Volume; former Senior Talent Editor, Billboard Magazine
"It's a once in a generational thing... I don't think we get enough of these "
~Lori Majewski, SiriusXM Volume
The title track and next single, “The Sky Is All I Need To Get High,” is scheduled for a mid-October 2021 release and a B-side “surprise” that JACOB plans to use as a PSA encouraging both young and old to practice Covid safety measures and do the right thing so we can all fully get back to enjoying the thrill of live music together.
LIMITED EDITION VINYL w/Bonus Tracks
A limited edition vinyl of the EP is available here and includes four bonus tracks Listen Here.
“Sketches of You” (received rave reviews on SiriusXM’s Feedback on Volume 106) https://youtu.be/CTSL4kiWOns
“Seed of Youth”
“Bulletproof Superstars” (Exclusive – never before released.)
SONGS ON THE EP:
“The Sky Is All I Need to Get High”
“’The Sky’ is the oldest track on the EP and the only one I’ve yet to play live. I was in Las Vegas rehearsing for Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival in early Sept 2019. I had about 30 mins to kill in our hotel room and figured I’d try to write a song. The bathroom acoustics were so incredible that I literally just sat by the sink, queued up a voice memo and let it roll. Weeks later I was sifting through old voice recordings and rediscovered the riff. Lyrically, the song is about trusting your own instincts and not letting people dictate the path you take. That’s a common theme in a number of my songs. I knew it had to be the opening track because it pretty much sums up the theme of the EP within the first 10 seconds.
“Traces” was written while going through a Beatles ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ phase. Learning to play those songs brought a whole new element to my writing, as so many of the chords are ones I’d never think to play. The Beatles wrote the book. I’ll never forget the first time Bill and I heard Rami’s key parts on this song. When that first chorus hit, everyone in the room got goosebumps. It took it to the next level. Lyrically, ‘Traces’ is about coming of age in troubled times, and with hope as a new era unfolds.
“Color Me Blind”
“It’s about wanting to get across to someone special but not knowing how, and the frustration that brings. ‘Color Me Blind’ was the last song completed for the EP. It’s a bit different from the rest of the record—it almost has a jazz flare to it. That bridge where the guitar lines and the synths begin to stack upon one another is one of my fave moments on the EP.”
“I read a quote that said, ‘When you take big bites out of life, life sometimes bites back.’ That inspired ‘Swan Dive.’ I was partly thinking of musicians I know who, like me, put our music out there against impossible odds. But it’s more universal. I’d say it’s about throwing caution to the wind. Overcoming fear and self-doubt. But also being careful what you wish for.”
“’The Kids’ is a reflection of the world my generation is inheriting–-cynicism and a sense of peril. It feels like what I’ve read about the late 1960’s. Music had a huge cultural impact then. It was not disposable and it mattered. At the time I wrote this song, two things were going on really. The anger that came with this country’s last four years of political divide, and the awful school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in South Florida–20 minutes from my own high school. It left the entire South Florida community reeling. None of us really felt safe after that, and unfortunately these mass shootings continue. Our grandparents had to worry about a nuclear event and had fallout shelters in their high schools. My generation has to worry about the bullied kid with assault weapons shooting up the school. I thought the students who spoke out after that were very brave– ‘no more thoughts and prayers.’”
“Signal & the Noise”
“One silver lining of the Covid lockdown was the amount of free time to write. This song was a product of that. I am fascinated by the concept of synchronicity— how the universe always has a way of bringing the right people into your life at the right time if you follow your instincts. The demo version that made the EP was recorded live, in one take, on my iPhone 11 in the bathroom! It was something I did for social media and had no intent of recording it properly. However, once I saw the reaction it received, I started to track a studio version. But nothing matched the intensity of the original live take, warts and all. Then I started thinking back on some of my favorite songs including “Dead in the Water” (Noel Gallagher) and “Hey, Hey, My, My” (Neil Young) and realized that the live rawness and vulnerability of those tracks makes me feel like I am in the same room as the artist. It feels more personal. After all the production that went into this EP, I like the idea of closing it with something real and unfiltered.”