Malcolm Jack is as cool as a cucumber sitting across from me at a cafe on Main Street. I’m teasing him about how he still doesn’t have a cellphone at 30 years old, but it’s all in good fun. Fresh from his first show with his new album, I’m My Own Bewitchment, it’s easy to see that he just can’t contain his excitement. “It showed me just how many awesome friends I have. There was so much love in the room.”
I’m My Own Bewitchment takes listeners to a psychedelic place, one you may have never visited personally, but Malcolm lends you a hand and certainly wants you to try and get there. “I’ve been playing guitar since I was young, but I wasn’t too involved until I was much older. Y’know, I’m not that hip,” he admits. Leonard Cohen and John Lennon are major influencers for Malcolm. “This album sits with things of the past, much like some Capital 6 or Sun Wizard [two bands that Malcolm has been a part of] songs I’ve written.”
Malcolm was kind enough to bring me one of this album-zines, a project that he decided to create instead of the typical CD, vinyl, etc. A download code is written on the last page and the other pages are full of doodles and lyrics that look to be written by a type-writer, which mirrors the simplicity of how he recorded the album largely using only four elements: drums, bass, guitar, and vocals. Felix Fung (Chains of Love, Shimmering Stars, Mode Moderne), who co-produced the album with Malcolm, tried to make each one of those stand out and stand alone. Jack says, “If you have fewer instruments to work with, you can make it simple and weird. I wanted people to hear the lyrics and have it be personal to them.”
The pair had the entire album turned over in one short week. “It’s not a polished album by any means and it goes without saying that it’s not a technical masterpiece,” he observes. “I don’t have anything against that, but it’s not what I wanted it to be anyways, I wanted it to be straight-forward.”
Felix seemed to be the catalyst for much of the ease Malcolm felt when approaching this record. He explains, “We fed off of each other, and we’re big talkers. Even if it’s not important in reality, it’s important to us.” And with lyrics like, “I know it seems strange for a fella with no brain to be tellin’ you a tale, but I’ve been waiting to exhale from the moment I first noticed I couldn’t breathe,” it’s important to us as well.
By Camille Vega
Photo: Steve Louie