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This article was published 5/6/2019 (591 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

For nearly two years, Winnipeg singer-songwriter Jeremy Haywood-Smith has been sitting on the content for his debut album, the aptly titled Time.

During that time, Haywood-Smith, who performs under the moniker JayWood, released three DIY EPs to get his name out there and start building a fan base while he went into the studio to record and re-record, tweak and re-tweak the nine tracks and three interludes that make up his first full-length.

And that process would have continued on even longer had he not given himself a hard deadline of June 7 for the album’s release, which he will be celebrating with a show at the Good Will Social Club the same night.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>Jeremy Haywood-Smith, a.k.a. JayWood, will mark the release of his first full-length album with a June 7 show at the Good Will Social Club.</p></p>

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Jeremy Haywood-Smith, a.k.a. JayWood, will mark the release of his first full-length album with a June 7 show at the Good Will Social Club.

"People were receiving what I was putting out fairly well and people enjoyed the music so I didn’t feel too much pressure there to get the album out, but the pressure was on myself to make the songs half as good as what I put together in my brain. I kept saying I had to set a deadline; I announced the album before I was done mixing the album because if I didn’t do that, I’d be tweaking it forever. I need to have that limit on it, the pressure is on myself, by myself, but it’ll be worth it in the long run," says Haywood-Smith, 25.

The music Haywood-Smith creates pulls from influences all over the sonic map; there are bass lines rooted in funk, poppy vocal melodies and jangly, jazzy guitar riffs that all come together to make something closer to indie or psychedelic rock, with an overarching vibe of lightness and brightness.

It’s music you can dance to, certainly, but a closer listen reveals thoughtful lyricism and personal reflection about the past few years of Haywood-Smith’s life, as he dealt with changes in his band, mental-health challenges and just the general growing pains of advancing into true adulthood.

"I say this album is a very inward album; I used it to air out a lot of my own crap, I would say. Looking back on the last few years and where I’ve been, a lot has changed and I wanted to speak to those changes, and also it’s like a checkup with myself, like, ‘Oh wow, you overcame this and then you did this thing,’" Haywood-Smith says.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>JayWood</p>

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

JayWood

"It’s a very inward album; I get personal, and I hate doing that... I think I leave enough room to show just enough of me so you get a general idea (of who I am), but I also leave a lot out. I love my privacy, it’s the one thing I value more than almost anything, so I leave enough out for me to feel comfortable operating in it, but I air out enough to let people come in a bit."

And if Haywood-Smith has one request for listeners who are getting ready to dive into Time, it would be to listen to the whole thing, front to back, in one sitting.

"It’s definitely a concept, and I built it in a way that if you have the ability to listen to it all in one go, every song, back to back, that’s the best way to listen to it because that’s the way it was recorded.

"It’s got jokes, it’s funny, it doesn’t seem like it makes sense, but I tried to show a lot of my personality in this album... every bit of myself is there," he says.

"I just hope that somebody can take something from it."

erin.lebar@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @NireRabel

Erin Lebar

Erin Lebar
Multimedia producer

Erin Lebar is a multimedia producer who spends most of her time writing music- and culture-related stories for the Arts & Life section. She also co-hosts the Winnipeg Free Press's weekly pop-culture podcast, Bury the Lede.

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