Following a series of popular releases in 2020, amassing 15 million streams and over 5.5million hits on YouTube, South-African singer, songwriter, and producerJeremy Loops is back with a summery new single and music video, ‘Postcards’.
Postcards showcases Jeremy’s distinctive vocals, flowing melodies, and sunshine-soaked hooks. Co-written by Jonathan Quarmby (Tom Walker) and produced by Cam Blackwood (George Ezra), the single’s inspiration draws from the unique relationship pressures of occupational travel and long distances. The music video co-directed by Anna Telford and Jeremy in his second foray into directing, portrays this inspiration. Shot in a series of big dynamic rooms, in an old manor house in Cape Town, decorated by a team of artists and stylists, it shows the turbulent ups and downs of relationships, you see love, fighting, fun and some amazing choreography and dancing ubiquitous with Jeremy and his music.
Of the new single, Jeremy says:
“Postcards is a song about the ups and downs of relationships, people feel like they are alone when they suffer difficulties in relationships, it’s more common than people admit. This isn’t a sad song, it’s a song about acceptance and accepting that difficulties are often part of the journey to finding that solid connection. It’s a very upside-down world we’re living in right now. It’s hard to see people agreeing on anything, but this is one thing I feel like everyone can agree on. Sometimes we just can’t live with or without each other.”
Raised in a surfing village on the outskirts of Cape Town, Jeremy, a self-taught musician, picked up the guitar for the first time at university, where he practiced Bob Dylan alone in his bedroom. A little over ten years ago, Jeremy, inspired by the waste and excess he saw working as a deckhand on superyachts, co-founded the eco-initiative Greenpop. Performing as an opening act at fundraisers for the initiative, Jeremy was emboldened by the crowd’s response and quickly quickly gained momentum. Over the past decade Jeremy has become a household name in South Africa, obtained a global record deal, headlined several world tours with sold-out performances in iconic venues, including London’s Brixton Academy, and collaborated with the likes of Ed Sheeran, Simone Felice (The Lumineers), Jake Gosling (Shawn Mendes), Tobias Kuhn (Milky Chance), and Carey Willets (Dermot Kennedy).
It was an absolute pleasure to catch up with an artist whose two previous albums have been on repeat during the Summer. If anything can lift the storm clouds, and bring a feeling of Summertime it’s Jeremy and his music.
EP: ‘Postcards’ is my new favourite summer song. Its impossibly catchy and has a great vibe….and then there’s the lyrics which are pretty dramatic. It’s almost as if the song is the perfect reflection of the complexity of relationships for an artist on the road. Was that integral dichotomy a plan?
JL: 100%! This song is my life. You know, I’m grateful for my relationships, but I don’t think there’s a touring artist who has this down to a science. If you know of one, please introduce us to each other. I need tips.
EP: We live in a time where everyone’s lives are judged by what they post on social media, outside perceptions and the impression they want to give to the outside world. ‘The brightest smiles are always most uncertain’ is sadly the way I view most of what I see on social media. Is this a song written from personal experiences?
JL: I think there was a time I was putting on for social media, so to speak. You know, that thing you do as maybe a theatre actor where you take a deep breathe and put on a huge smile before walking on stage because that physical action changes your external appearance? Putting on your game face, so to speak.
I no longer care for that. What you see is what you get on my end both in language and energy. Deal with it. And if I don’t want to post, I won’t. And I think in the end, that approach filters the audience for the right people, but it also makes being on socials less onerous. Like, this is supposed to be fun. Not stressful.
EP: The video is brilliant. Was the concept your idea? There always seems to be a well thought out theme to your videos; how involved are you with the storyboards?
JL: Thank you The concept was a hybrid of ideas. I co-directed this with Anna Telford from a production company called Butterfly Films. She seeded a lot of the aesthetic and look and feel ideas, but her and I bashed out the unified vision together. You end up leaving cool ideas on the cutting floor – there was going to be a massive desert scene – but what we came up with in the end felt just right.
EP: You are a latecomer to a musical career. What brought you to the conclusion that your passion lay within writing and recording music? Who were your inspirations in music, but also in the decision to pursue your music?
JL: I just couldn’t stop writing songs. I was working on this super yacht for an obscenely wealthy man who carried himself with equal levels of obscenity, and by day I put in work on the decks, and by night I would just write and write and write. I saved every penny I made working on that boat, and when I came back, I figured even if all my aspirations go up in flames, I had maybe 2 years of thrifty living before I ran out of money and had to get a real job.
So it wasn’t so much a case of inspiration to pursue music. It was all my heart yearned for.
As for inspiration, all roads lead back to Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan for me. Guthrie’s the Godfather and Dylan his heir-apparent who became just that little bit more famous.
EP: Growing up in South Africa, you must have experienced many times where communities may have seemed divided but the last few weeks must have been amongst the most difficult. However, there has been a coming together of the nation in defence of community. How much do you blame social media for some of the problems? Do you, like me, believe social media should be more accountable? Here in England we have seen hateful racist abuse targeted at sportsmen recently and social media was hugely to blame for not keeping house better. I get the feeling from ‘Postcards’ that this might be something that resonates with you….
JL: Anonymity has allowed people to be ridiculously vile. And I don’t think it is social media so much the problem, but more that social media has become the mirror of what our societies are really like. People are racists. People are bigots. Many of them. And suddenly, they’ve been emboldened to be openly so. So while the platforms have a lot of work to do, the real crap shovelling has to happen in our communities. Sometimes even in our families.
I’m in agreement platforms have to do more to root out bigotry at the same level they root out stuff like pornography. If you have the means – and boy those billions upon billions of dollars of annual profits are means – then yes, more needs to be done.
Do I advocate for outright censorship? No. But again, like porn, you know bigotry when you see it and it should not be tolerated. Some of these people crying free speech neither understand its applications nor its consequences. So yes, I’d love to see these platforms do more to tackle bigotry. The problem is incentives, isn’t it? Social platforms value engagement above all else, so some platforms – and some especially more than others – give way to this moral dilemma.
EP: Your last album hasn’t been far from my playlist lately; it really could be the soundtrack of my summer. Is there any chance of you coming to the UK to play some of this live?
JL: Yeah, I love touring the UK. It’s the first place I ever really built a base outside of South Africa. Our last tour in that part of the world saw us sell out the O2 Academy Brixton, and it just felt like we were on a huge trajectory in the UK. It’ll be great to pick up where we left off with a nationwide tour, returning to some of the cities we haven’t been to in a while.
EP: I understand Loops is a stage name. Is there a connection between that and your use of a loop machine when you started out or is that just a fun coincidence?
JL: Yes and no. The name fits because in the beginning, looping was kind of the big difference maker. It was a gateway drug of sorts to people who didn’t know me. However, I actually went with Loops because my nickname in university used to be ‘Loopholes’, which some friends later shortened to ‘Loops’. I used to skirt the lines of what was permissible with attendance and examination and assignments and I’d be the one to always find the loopholes in the rules. I’ve always carried myself with that energy – pushing the limits.
EP: ‘Down South’ collaborates with the brilliant Motheo Moleko and features his rapping. Do you think it’s important to blur the lines between genre and also important to collaborate with fellow socially aware countrymen to bring your personal message to a world audience?
JL: Genres are like the old chicken and egg in a way. For listeners, a genre signals what type of music you’re in for, but for the music business, it signals what type of music you’re promoting to the listener. So suddenly, the business wants to make this particular music for their ideal listener, and the listener thinks they like this particular music based on their past tastes as defined by ‘genre’, but the truth is we all have a pretty wide gamut of likes. So it almost feels like, as the musician sitting between these two forces, I’m best served by just doing what I like. So again, you’re pushing the limits and skirting the rules to introduce stuff to people. I think it’s so important to treat music like that.
As to collaboration, yeah, so much of what makes music and art and creativity great is when you have multiple people bring their own perspective to the same problems. Motheo and I have a good connection, have some strong beliefs we both share, and we tend to make great music together, so it’s always fun getting to work with him.
EP: How has the world pandemic affected you. Many musicians I have spoken with appreciated the time to slow down a little and really take a long, hard look at the music they wanted to make. Has the enforced time away changed the way you look at your music and the message you want to send or has it just consolidated your beliefs and goals?
JL: I’m just happy to be alive and to have my family safe. I’m grateful for health. A big change in one’s life seems to bring about emotions of resentment or gratitude, and I try focus on the silver lining. I’ve been grateful for the change of pace and the chance to be home for sure, but I’m also looking forward to getting back on the road. From a personal and a music perspective, being grounded has just made me more thankful for life and I think that comes across sin the music.
EP: Finally with the new music out, what are the plans going forward? What’s the best way for fans in the UK to follow you and what can we expect next? Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my question, thank you for your brilliant music and good luck.
JL: Best way for folks to reach me is on social media. it’s just @jeremyloops literally everywhere. They can also head to my website to sign up to my mailing list, that way you miss nothing ever. It’s just https://jeremyloops.com. Oh, and stream the music wherever you listen to your music.
And then as to what’s coming next, a lot! We’ve been in album mode for a while, so definitely dropping a full record in 2022, but I still have some surprises up my sleeves for 2021. We’re working, that’s for sure.
Some things in life are inevitable. For a while, that inevitably was a new Shrek movie with an updated pop cover like “I’m a Believer” from Smash Mouth. These days it’s a new Despicable Me movie, this time in the form of spinoff Minions The Rise of Gru. And just as we all predicted, the new Steve Carrell led film comes stacked with a loaded soundtrack headlined by St. Vincent.
For her contribution to the Minions: The Rise of Gru soundtrack, St. Vincent covered “Funkytown” by Lipps Inc. Her version was produced by Jack Antonoff and continues a run of luck for the musician that earlier this year saw her win a Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album.
Antonoff also gave St. Vincent a shout-out for her album Daddy’s Home when he won Producer of the Year at the Grammys.
Announcing the release of her funky cover, St. Vincent took to Twitter and wrote, “Excited to say the @Minions (including @jackantonoff) and I have just released our version of ‘Funkytown’ from #TheRiseofGru soundtrack. Shout out to Gru and them…” Included with the post was a graphic of St. Vincent as a minion.
Joining St. Vincent on the Minions: The Rise of Gru soundtrack are Tame Impala, Kali Uchis, Brittany Howard, Thundercat, Caroline Polachek, Diana Ross, and Weyes Blood, just to name a few.
The album will be released on July 1, coinciding with the film’s theatrical release. You can listen to St. Vincent’s cover of Lipps Inc. “Funkytown” below!
Back in October of 2021, Parmalee released ‘Take My Name’ as the second single from their third studio album. It was written with and produced by David Fanning, producer of the massive hit ‘Carolina’ that introduced me to the band back in 2008, Ashley Gorley and Ben Johnson. Robyn Collins of ‘Taste of Country’ described the song as “a musical marriage proposal” and lead singer of the band, Matt Thomas, says it was inspired by the marriage of brother Scott; he says “it made me think about what I would want to say to my future wife.”
Some songs almost become bigger than themselves when they tap into the lives and moods of everyone and this is very much one of those songs. It’s not difficult to see why this song has been adopted by fans all over the world irrespective of their taste in music; its words conjure all the romance and love that you’d hope to feel when you ask someone to marry you. It’s lyrically a shopping list of everything you feel at the moment you realise you’ve met the one, even if that’s after only a short time. I remember proposing to my wife after just 8 weeks and if I try to remember what I was feeling at the point I proposed and tried to put it into words I would hope it was very similar to this song. Now over 31 years later and still happily married I listen to this song and it brings all those feelings back in a rush so why wouldn’t it be the perfect song to overlay a proposal, sing at the wedding or just be part of the moment; it’s how I’d love my sons to feel when they propose to their partners.
Parmalee are very aware of their fans needs and were quick to record a wedding version for such occasions with a less catchy percussion and a softer piano focussed vibe than the original version. There have even been brilliant occasions where the band has turned up to “crash” a wedding and sing this song to the happy couple reminiscent of Maroon 5 and their song ‘Sugar’. None of those guests will forget that wedding in a hurry!
With all the interest in the song and the brilliant videos and messages the band have received, they felt the time was right to make their own narrative video to accompany the song as an addition to the previously released visualizer. The ‘Wedding Version’ video of the romantic song was filmed in Gallatin, TN and directed by Shane Drake. The heart-warming story follows the journey of the protagonist through middle school and all the way to adulthood featuring kids from a local school, an original 1968 Mustang Shelby GT350 and appearances from the band with the lead being played by frontman Matt Thomas.
“From the jump, the fans have really latched onto this song in such an amazing, life changing way- our fans have been the reason for so many of our own major milestones, so it means that much more to us that folks are using our song for their proposals and weddings and allowing us to be a part of those major moments in their lives. We wanted to pay tribute to the fans who have been on this journey with us since the beginning so in the music video you’ll see a story of love and loyalty unfold across the years-but don’t expect to see any weddings or proposals – the fan created videos far exceed anything we could depict. We love watching them.”
With over 135 million global on demand streams, the song has raced up the Country charts, outpacing the band’s previous single, the multinational Number 1 smash ‘Just The Way’ with Blanco Brown and has been popping up all over TikTok with creators playing the song over proposal and wedding videos and even sparking a trend of using the sound of the song and writing “if your man doesn’t make you feel this way then what are you doing?” over the video.
Coming from their recently released album ‘For You’, an album that has garnered critical acclaim with American Songwriter calling it “authentically real, genuinely inspired” and Billboard saying that “Parmalee find itself in the enviable position of being able to tap into multiple audiences”. What is very clear is that Country music is slowly starting to find a new, younger audience in the UK to stand alongside the existing fans of the genre. Zack Bryan has recently found himself high on the Spotify album charts and UK stars like Ed Sheeran have appeared alongside Country stars like Luke Combs at the Country2Country festival. Even Tom Odell has found himself headlining the British Country Music Festival in the Summer. Parmalee may be the band to really break down the barriers between Country music and the UK Charts with this song as the musical genre of this release is far less important than the honesty and emotion of the lyrics and Romance will always break down all of the barriers, or at least I would hope it would.
‘For You’ is out now and can be streamed and downloaded here. Find out more about Parmalee and their music online on their official website.
This Copenhagen DIY pop artist has managed the difficult task of mixing her soulful voice with vibrant dreamy production and lyrics with real streetwise attitude. The result is something that has given her the hit single ‘Obvious’ which Danish radio loved and the internationally acclaimed single ‘Back to Business’. Now she is releasing the excellent lead single ‘Summer’s Already Gone’ which sounds very modern Bond in its lo fi production but tells an unusual love story. Not a story about falling in love with a person, but about the love affair that always ends; the affair with Summer.
“I wanted to write a song that could represent both the fearlessness of the magical Summer days and the truly blue sadness of the re occuring love story it actually is when Summer eventually comes to an end. I know it’s a heartbreaking, melancholy feeling but it’s also everything I love about Summer.”
The song was written in Mercedess’ living room with Danish indie superstar Goss and the guitarist Søren Breum and is produced by the critically acclaimed artist Vera. It allows the velvet of the artist’s voice to tumble over the muted trumpets, break beats and flirty acoustic guitars and strings bringing to life the seasonal heartbreak.
The fact that it is about the love and anticipation felt for Summer is almost more poignant this year as we embark upon the first free Summer for a few years. The affair with Summer this year promises to be a torrid passionate affair as we’ve been apart so long but the heartbreak of its end will be felt more keenly. This song will be the soundtrack to the affair for sure.
The single is released on the same day as the debut album from this exciting new talent. Mercedess says of the album: “Casa Fantasia is an album about longing for closeness and honesty. These songs are an escape from reality-a place to feel free and be yourself. Writing it was a personal journey and process to me that hopefully will make space for creativity, art and emotions for others too”
The album promises to do just that with the artist’s melancholy and yet warm and dreamy vocals and marks an exciting new chapter for an artist destined to find international acclaim with this collection of music. Summer may come and go but I’m sure the appeal of Mercedess will be perennial.