Joe Jackson has been making music in his bedroom for years and has now gained the confidence to open the door and let the world into his musical universe. His new project ‘Hanwell’ brings all his influence and experience of creating into the public eye in the form of intimate indie pop. Learning how to produce music from Youtube tutorials, Hanwell has full control of the sound of his music and the honest feelings that fill it.
With influences from Clairo, Joji, Tame Impala and Mac Miller to name a few, Hanwell showcases a wide range of inspirations. He began by sending trap beats to rappers online in 2019 and this style has blurred into the indie bedroom pop heard on the latest single ‘I Would’.
Describe your sound in no more than 5 words.
Living in a memory.
Turning to I Would, what is the message behind the track?
It’s really a song about acceptance. It was written in January 202, so just after the 3rd lockdown announcement. That time was just shit. I really wanted to be out seeing friends, gigging and I was just fed up with it all really. I honestly had this moment, when I just had this euphoric feeling of how lucky I am and how brilliant the people around me are. And that yes it’s bad but if I can work out how to feel happy in lockdown, how fucking brilliant will I feel when it’s over? So to really try to grasp that feeling I wrote I Would.
In regards to writing and producing I Would, was was that like as a process?
It was a weird one actually. I tuned my guitar to an unnecessarily random tuning and wrote the guitar riff heard in the intro. From there I just wrote the song linearly. I actually recorded each part into my computer for the demo as I was writing it. I think that’s why the drums come in so late - because I actually starting producing the song while it was being written. I did the whole of the first demo in some crazy 6 hour session where I did 3 new song demos. I don’t normally do that.
As an artist do you begin with lyrics first or start with the music itself?
It completely varies. Usually I will get most ideas in the shower or walking places or when I’m not writing music, and then I’ll just speak or sing it into my phone. I’ve probably got like 500 voice notes. Wait I just checked and there’s actually 1,234 voice notes on my phone of just random stuff I’ve recorded! (That’s spooky it’s at 1234 today!) Yeah so I just record a voice note of an idea and then come back to it, have a listen and if it’s any good I might make it into a song.
What is your favourite lyric within the song and what is the meaning behind it?
Probably the second line. “Push you out the way, you were bound to make me stay”.
These were actually the first lyrics of the song. I think I was about to write a really sad angry song when I suddenly caught myself from falling and was like hold up, you’re actually really lucky. I’m kinda gassed how I used the first lyrics in the second line but in the second line they have a different meaning to the first time they’re said. I’m a bit of a lyric nerd with that sort of thing.
When writing and creating a song do you always have performing it live in mind?
More recently, yes because I’m so excited for gigs to come back so I’m picturing how every song will sound live but when I Would was written I actually had stopped getting my hopes up about the country opening up and I just sort of accepted it would be a while until life was back to normal. So I just really focused on how the recording of the song sounded. I thought well there are a lot of people feeling shit about this whole lockdown so just try to distract people like I did to myself a bit.
Hanwell's top songs that inspired the track I Would.