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David A. Jaycock Hold. Star. Return

19th May 2023

Format Info

LP - Eco Mix Trans Vinyl with Bonus CD
With Bonus Spacebar CD

Cornish folk singer David A. Jaycock’s latest solo album is an imaginative sidestep into synth pop and experimental electronica, inspired by the music of his early youth – from Japan and Eurythmics to Kraftwerk and Vangelis. We’re sensing lavish early John Foxxism, analogue, arpeggiated synths climbing and descending, criss-crossing melodies and propulsive memories, all helmed by Jaycock’s Eno-esque vocal captaincy. 

Where David A. Jaycock’s albums in the past have seen a fine balance between acoustic and electronic instrumentation, Hold. Star. Return represents his first full immersion in a world of charity shop synthesisers, trashy vintage keyboards, drum machines and tape effects – a world which has fascinated him since his teens. String machines, arpeggiators, bleeps and crackling soundscapes lay the foundations for subject matter wide and bountiful, from displacement and family breakdown to car crashes, spontaneous human combustion and living in the back of a Hillman Avenger Estate. Lyrically the album is dark, and yet, it’s often joyous and expansive in its musicality –steeped as it is in spectral memories of a half-remembered age when electronic pop felt fresh, futuristic and full of possibilities, from the stereo panned layers of ‘Dare’ by the Human league, to the synth drums on ‘It Feels Like I’m In Love’ by Kelly Marie. “Music that reminds me of walking to school in the snow in the late 1980s,” as Jaycock puts it.

An important creative foil and champion throughout much of Jaycock’s career has been Scottish singer-songwriter and Domino Records recording artist James Yorkston, whom he first met and recorded with in 2009 as part of Sheffield folk/experimental ensemble Big Eyes Family Players. “We then went on tour,” Jaycock remembers, “I’ve been recording on and off with him ever since.” The two pair up again on Jaycock’s latest album Hold. Star. Return – an album which Yorkston not only contributes to creatively, but which he is also helping to release via his DIY micro-label CRAWS (Cellardyke Recording And Wassailing Society). “We play a lot of Scrabble and stuff,” explains Jaycock, of his multi-faceted relationship with James Yorkston. “He puts me on to some great music. He gave me a kick to keep at this record and add lyrics and found time to add spoken word and backing vocals with some dulcimer thrown in. He is one of the most supportive, generous with thought and time musicians I know. He is a great listener.”

Recorded intermittently over the course of many years in ad hoc locations ranging from big halls to an airing cupboard, and additionally featuring playing from drummers Paul Bullock and Sam Kelly, Hold. Star. Return is an immersive sonic journey, fascinated by cinematic, cultural, and political effects on the imagination. Characters glow with violence and intelligence, blood and glass. Subjects visited from a deeply personal ‘dream-stateʼ perspective range from macrobiotics, religious tendencies, gurus, politics, and the effects of Thatcherism to class, community, and the differences in urban and rural nurture. There are stories of hitchhiking, being down and out in Paris, strong and fading friendships, loneliness and the growing realisation of mortality.


Other Releases by David A. Jaycock