Debut Album ‘Low Key’
Low Key is the debut album for Jackmann. Recorded over a weekend at Abbey Road Studios with producer Sam Okell (Grammy and Emmy winner for his work with PJ Harvey, Graham Coxon and The Beatles), it is a collection of songs about experience, relationships gone awry, identity and commitment.
Their intentions are honest, powerful and sincere. These are songs that could only be recorded and presented sparsely. In their stripped-back form, they show up the needless ballast that so many other songwriters see as necessary to best realise their songs.
Jackmann uses the deft drumming of John Blease, Adam Chtwood’s restrained guitar and the piano and keyboards of Paddy Milner whose musicianship serves the songs, never seeking to detract from their aim. He is not interested in mere atmosphere. He creates characters and sets them on paths that test them, transform them and sometimes destroy them. These are not idle stories.
After twenty years as Kris Schroeder, bassist and singer with The Basics, this new solo venture under the moniker Jackmann reveals his true nature. Investing in these songs the same searing humanity he also expresses through his work with the Red Cross, as a medical student, a political agitator and an advocate for the dispossessed and disenfranchised.
This empathy comes through on Low Key in unvarnished form and with a passion rare in modern music. In this way, it is reminiscent of Leonard Cohen, Nebraska-era Bruce Springsteen and the songs of Peter Schumann and Shane Howard. Jackmann joins a tradition of songs written with a clear sense of purpose and a sincere desire to connect with honest songs.
“Starting this solo project isn’t just about making ‘my’ music,” says Jackmann. “I’d never say the music of The Basics was any less ‘mine’ than this. Low Key is a statement of identity, of finally figuring out who you are and why you are and where you belong.”
Low Key asks the listener to invest and commit with songs that illuminate, enrich and, unlike so much music in 2020, stay with you.