J. Goldwater Interview: “Sometimes one word is good enough.”

J Goldwater

J Goldwater & The Arizona Aces is out now. New Country, Old News is out March 1st.

Often times, in the popular music world, songs of love are bombastic and overwrought to an extent that in all the bluster they completely lose their impetus. I don’t know about you, but for me love and heartbreak are both low-key, intimate, and private emotions. They require a deft touch rather than a sledgehammer.

It seems that J Goldwater, the Americana tinged pseudonym of Glasgow based musician Connor Browne, agrees with me. His music is tender and warm. Full of space and understatement.

It was for these reasons, that I felt compelled to drop him a line and chat all about his recent burst of productivity that culminates in the release of a new New Country, Old News on March 1st. It follows hot on the heels of J Goldwater & The Arizona Aces, released on February 1st.

Overblown: Your latest release is a collaboration with The Arizona Aces. How did that come about?

Answer: The Arizona Aces is essentially a fictional group assembled for the purposes of this album. It is comprised of Thunderbolt James (guitar, backing vocals, recording), Dee Shackleton (bass) and Floyd Grey (drums). I played guitar and sang.

Overblown: I love the first track on the release. ‘I Hope You Don’t Forget About Me’ is a beautifully hypnotic and mournful track. What inspired it?

Answer: Thank you! I suppose there’s a particular person I wrote it for/about. Sometimes one line is good enough y’know. I think I got the point across to them.

Overblown: The cover of the release is simply the American flag. Why choose this as the album cover?

Answer: It’s probably a pretty unpopular image these days, and I’m an unpopular artist. I conceived the whole thing as kind of very American. I’m not sure if it does sound that way. I’ve never been there.

Overblown: You have another EP coming out next month titled ‘New Country, Old News’. How is that different or similar to your collaboration with The Arizona Aces?

Answer: I think there are some consistencies in theme but definitely differences in terms of setting and subjects. Also, the Arizona Aces record was recorded live in a room with a band; I play most of the instruments on NCON with occasional collaborators. I think it sounds good.

Overblown: Where did the name J. Goldwater originate?

Answer: Again part of the overly grand American thing I was shooting for. Probably subconsciously thinking about Barry Goldwater. Seemed as good a name as any.

Overblown: I love the urgency in the track ‘Portrait’. What inspired that song musically?

Answer: Thanks again. It sounded a little different initially when I wrote it, when we were playing it I asked the rhythm section to add that country shuffle. Country music inspires me.

Overblown: ‘New Country, Old News’ will mark your third release in under a year. Where has this burst of creativity come from?

Answer: When I set my mind to it, I can write songs very quickly and I tend to record them as I go. I leave the mistakes in some of the time, particularly on Letters from July. There’s no such thing as perfection and I’ve never tried to achieve it.

Overblown: What are your plans for the rest of the year?

Answer: I’m not going to make any more music for the foreseeable future I don’t think. I might make a film. I’ve packed all my music stuff away for now. I need a break!

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