Too much thinking can get in the way of good art. That’s the philosophy that indie singer/songwriter JAWNY has embraced even under the pressure of recording his debut album, It’s Never Fair, Always True. JAWNY has built his career by intuition, letting his music evolve naturally as he grows personally. Instead of chasing the high of past successes — including his 2019 US Gold and Mexico Diamond-certified hit, “Honeypie” — he’s followed his gut and tapped into a new vision that reflects his growth over the years. Even as he embraces a “first thought, best thought” approach to making music, his songs have grown in scope and scale — elevating him from songwriter to indie-pop auteur with a kaleidoscopic vision and rich sense of narrative that informs everything he does.
On It’s Never Fair, Always True JAWNY tackles a familiar storyline: a boy falls madly in love, eventually loses that love, then quickly spirals downward. The doomed tale unfolds with breezy guitar-pop that gradually builds into sweeping lovelorn reveries, a thrilling multi-part finale and a blistering feature from Grammy winning legend Beck. The album has received praise from the media with NME giving the album four stars stating, “The McCartney-esque piano tune ‘Fall In Love’ shows there’s more to Jawny than catchy alt-pop as he adds depth to his sound with a triumphant string section,” and Music Connection noting the album “closer “Selfish Hate” is Jawny’s most ambitious opus at eight minutes, a sad stoner’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” “I’m old enough to feel old, but young enough to die alone…,” these opening lines of “Everything” serve as a mission statement from a more sophisticated, mature singer.
Each release has added new wrinkles to JAWNY’s already ornate sound — which helped him grow from a maker of pristine pop songs to a thoughtful songwriter with his eyes on intricate stories and life’s big questions. All the while, he’s never lost touch with the technicolor melodies that fans fell in love with in the first place, but as he’s prepared for his debut album, he’s learned to write with real empathy and depth — the mark of a songwriter who remains more wise and gifted than his years suggest.
But still, even as he proves himself capable of ambitious arrangements and his audience proves they’re able to keep up with him at every unpredictable turn, JAWNY remained steadfastly in the moment as he worked on It’s Never Fair, Always True. “I just chased whatever felt right that day,” he says. “I can’t overthink it.” The result is a whimsical, wild rush of a debut that traces all the twists and turns of life and love in its purest moments. As its title suggests, the album is honest and real — a record that captures how JAWNY feels right now, while, importantly, staying connected to every step of the journey that brought him here. “I feel like I made my dream album that I wish I had the ability to make when I was 17,” he says. “But I’m just a giant child at heart, and I never wanna lose that. Otherwise, what’s the fucking point?”
In support of his debut album JAWNY has been on the road for The It’s Never Fair, Always True tour which has included stops in Los Angeles, New York (two shows), Chicago and more.
Born in the Bay Area, and raised in Philadelphia, JAWNY first picked up a guitar at age 6 after watching his dad jam to the Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, and Led Zeppelin. At 13, he began making beats with his brother, eventually landing placements with rappers on SoundCloud. In his early 20s, he began writing his own songs, and started to gain buzz with his 2018 debut EP under the name Johnny Utah, landing placements on critically acclaimed shows like the HBO series, High Maintenance. JAWNY followed that up with a handful of buzzworthy singles, including Honeypie, that landed on a number of tastemaker playlists and garnered millions of streams. In 2020, JAWNY signed to Interscope Records and soon released a pair of vibrant, critically acclaimed projects, For Abby and The Story of Hugo, which further showcased his sharp storytelling and sonic experimentation and put him front & center on a number of notable playlist covers around the world and as a Vevo DSCVR Artists To Watch.
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