A great thing about being friends with creative people is getting to enjoy and see what they create with their talents. I’m happy to say that a friend of mine, Jac with No K, has just released his debut EP, “Summer Hits of the 1890’s” to music platforms like Spotify, Soundcloud and iTunes.
Jac with No K is the musical project of Jac Carson, a Pittsburgh-raised and currently Philadelphia-based alt-blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. His EP dropped this past Saturday, June 10th at a release show at The Grape Room in Philadelphia. Carson is backed by a band of drums and bass guitar (handled by Alexander Saddic of the band The GoAround), but handles all music and lyric writing.
His EP, while only five songs, explores a variety of music inspirations. He never goes directly full country on his EP, but keeps more of a nostalgic southern folk, blues and rock combination that has worked for acts like Jack White, Cage the Elephant and The Black Keys. Fans of any of those acts would greatly enjoy this EP for that reason.
Out of all five tracks, “Movin’ Down to Texas” is probably the most folk-country, but would appeal to both fans of that genre, fans of ballad-style rock songwriting and fans of folk and pop rock singer-songwriters. The percussion trots along under Carson’s lyrics of betrayal and heartbreak, and the guitar solo on this one, while shorter, may be my favourite on the EP.
The album lives up to it’s “Summer Hits” name, from the fun, poppy opener “Misty Mae” (which will surely appeal to fans of 90’s alt-rock radio bands, and fans of early Oasis may enjoy the riffs) to lyrics that evoke a mood of a lonely southwestern summertime on songs like “Movin’ Down to Texas” and “Las Vegas Nights.” The latter of the two has some keyboard interludes that give the track, which is the shortest on the EP, a sort of 70’s folk-rock feel.
“Pray For Me” sees Carson going full blues-rock, experimenting with a slower tempo, laid-back layered riffs and vocals in his upper register, as well as a rougher and more soulful lyrical delivery overall. He explores with different tones and vocal patterns in his singing throughout the track.
The EP comes to a blissful close with the jangly “Waste Away,” a lament about people who waste their time drowning in insecurity and wasting their potential. The song explodes into an upbeat 90’s alt-inspired jam of a chorus. The ending refrain of “Don’t throw your life away” is a perfect last thought for the EP to leave the listener with- like Noel Gallagher’s iconic “Don’t look back in anger/At least not today,” it’s simple, not too complex, but meaningful all the same.
I’ve known this guy for quite some time, and I know how much effort he’s put into learning and creating his music. He’s the kind of musician I’d love to see take off from a debut five-song EP to an indie label, or even just receive enough attention to continue releasing new material.
So give “Summer Hits of the 1890’s” a shot, because really, who doesn’t love discovering artists before they make it big? And in an era of music discovery where Bandcamp artists can end up signed to Matador Records, who knows what could be next for Jac with no K?
Maybe if you take a listen, you can help shape that history: https://open.spotify.com/album/3SXASf8DuWzg9FlrKyMKwg
Thanks for reading, and God bless.