If you’re on the lookout for a blistering piece of guitar-led rock mixed with raw musical talent, then look no further than Jack Bratt, who has what you’re seeking in… spades.
Is it too early to start listing contenders for song of the year? We hope not, because Jack Bratt and his single ‘Spades’ looks set to take that title.
Let’s be fair, Jack Bratt might not be a household name as yet, but there’s a strong chance you’ve seen his work before. Having joined triple j Unearthed High winners Shifter at just 18, Bratt was soon touring all over the globe, and performing with other bands – including his own act, Blonde on Blonde – that would share a bill with Wolfmother, INXS, and Tame Impala, just to name a few.
Needless to say, he’s an unsung hero of the Aussie music world, with a resumé that has seen him assume just about every role possible. However, last year saw a bit of that overdue recognition finally come his way, when Bratt was announced as the winner of the prestigious Grant McLennan Fellowship. Now, he’s shared his debut single for your listening pleasure.
Titled ‘Spades’, the track is described as a study in over-thinking, and features the slick guitar-based rock sound that appeals to fans of greats like The War on Drugs, Kingswood, and much more. Featuring his immensely powerful vocals up the front of the entire tune, it’s one of the sharpest songs you’ll hear all year.
“I’m a classic overthinker, and ‘Spades’ is a bit of a snapshot of me over-analysing everything,” Bratt says of the track. “It’s a lot about comparing where I’m at in my life to my friends and family, thinking about whether or not I’m where I should be compared to, say, when my parents were at the same age.”
Paired with a stunning live video, the goosebumps-inducing clip captures Bratt where he’s most comfortable – the live stage. Directed by Clint Lewis of Red Tape Pictures (Tim Rogers, The Church), the black-and-white clip shows Jack in solo format, performing the track in a way that sees him accurately portraying the significant nature of the song’s subject matter.
“I just wanted the video to be simple. Playing this song solo, not in a band setting, is a pretty vulnerable thing,” he explains. “When I walked into the room for the first time and saw the pillars and the stained-glass windows, I knew it was going to be perfect for the song.”
Though a planned trip to the US has since been postponed due to COVID-19, Bratt still hopes to find his way over to New York City for a three-month artist residency, which has come about thanks to his recent Grant McLennan Fellowship accolade.
“While this is obviously a pretty distressing time for all of us, I’m using the time wisely by writing a lot of music which I’m excited about,” he explains. “And I’m planning on still heading to New York as soon as the travel bans have been lifted.”
Needless to say, those folks over in New York ought to consider themselves incredibly lucky to be graced by such raw talent in not only musical composition, but performance as well. Now we just need to sit back and wait for more classic singles to come via the great Jack Bratt, but in the meantime, check out the video for ‘Spades’ below.