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JACK CARTY Picture Esk

JackCarty

“Quite often the things that I like about my songs are totally ignored by everybody and they like different things about them that I don’t like. I know what makes me proud of my songs… that’s more or less always lyrics and melodies.” 

Touring in support of his new album, Esk, Jack Carty will perform on Friday, November 7, at the Prince Of Wales, Bunbury, and Sunday, November 9, at Four 5 Nine Bar (Rosemount Hotel). AUGUSTUS WELBY reports.

 

There comes a time when making music shifts from being a hobby into a maddening obsession.

Those overcome by this fixation are no longer capable of having regular life experiences. Instead, every event is analysed to determine its songwriting utility. Thoughtful Australian folk/pop artist Jack Carty knows this songwriting mania all too well.

“Every single day, all I ever think about is music,” he says. “My friends, my family and my fiancée all get very sick of this. But I don’t just want to be a good musician in my life. I want to be a good all-round person.”

Carty has just released his third LP, Esk. The Brisbane-based songwriter’s previous LP, 2012’s Break Your Own Heart, was a breakup record, communicated from a place of intimate self-reflection. While Carty is “very, very proud” of the release, Esk is a far less pensive affair.
“That side of my personality, where it’s just really introspective and analytical, I’m trying to get outside of that and see things from a more all-encompassing perspective.”

With this goal in mind, Esk was put together with a little help from some of Carty’s distinguished friends. In addition to contributions from his established live band, there’s The Universe, a duet with Katie Noonan,The Joneses, which was written with Josh Pyke, and four tracks produced by Sydney’s Casual Psychotic.

“Part of the reason for the collaborative preparation for this album was trying to not just be in my own head all the time,” he says. “I was in bands before I started doing the solo thing, but I always felt like something got lost in the translation. Since then I’ve found musicians that I play with all the time now that are really complementary.”

Embracing input from multiple parties gives Esk a more changeable dynamic than Carty’s previous releases. The record moves from the acoustic troubadour touch of Summer In New Zealand, to the electrified kick of The Joneses and the piano-led lament, My Replacement.
Though
Esk is a texturally diverse outing, Carty’s vocals and diligently constructed lyrics are the major focus.

“Good lyrics for me are something that are so important to a song,” he says. “I might really like a song for its melody, but if it doesn’t have something that lyrically grabs me, I probably won’t listen to it more than a couple of times.

“Quite often the things that I like about my songs are totally ignored by everybody,” he adds, “and they like different things about them that I don’t like. I know what makes me proud of my songs… that’s more or less always lyrics and melodies.”

Of course, trying to regulate other peoples’ listening experiences is a futile act, as everyone’s viewpoint will differ somewhat. By this stage in his recording career, Carty is at peace with the subjective caprices of his listenership.

“You can’t control what people think and how they react,” he says. “That’s part of the weird and awesome thing about putting out bits of yourself into the world. I want to enjoy these processes, but if you’re trying to control every aspect of it, it can suck a lot of the joy out of it. Nowadays I’m just trying to make music that I’m proud of and put it out there.”