“I wish that I could take back time // But here I stand alone again,” sings Jesse Aycock on his latest single. It is at once personal and universal, a feeling that many listeners will be able to relate to. With upbeat, jangling guitars, a strong beat and catchy vocal melody, ‘Past Life’ is a memorable foot-tapper that engages immediately. More than that, it’s a showcase for Aycock’s expert playing and talent for layering, structing and crafting a great song.
The intriguing video depicts Aycock coming to terms with loss. He told AUK: “I shot the video for Past Life with Tulsa filmmaker Clay Flores. I sent him the song to listen too, and get a vibe from. That’s how we got the concept for the video started. We both pulled our ideas together, but really most of it came from him. I wanted him to do his thing without too much outside input. The song is about dealing with loss and the grief that lingers. There’s this weird relationship we all have with grief at some point in our lives. In the video, Clay tried to capture that with imagery. Our friend and local Tulsa artist Lydia Cheshewalla played the role of grief. Throughout the video you can pick up on this relationship and see the struggle. I guess in the end it’s this acceptance of grief that helps to get through it.” We see Aycock, from the moment he wakes, experiencing everyday situations through a typical day, literally held back by grief. It’s a very powerful visual that audiences can relate to.
Of his self titled new album, just released this month, and the song-writing process, Aycock says: “I’ve been working on many of these songs over the last few years, but I could never land on something until they finally took shape. A handful came together very recently. I wrote ‘Second Chances Better Luck’ late one night and had it demo’d with parts and lyrics by sunrise. There were a few songs I was still finishing up as we were tracking them, which was a new experience for me. Luckily, I have faith in the creative process and great friends to work with in the studio. I find that when you let things happen organically, that’s when magic happens. Overall, I think this album is a little more personal and vulnerable than my previous albums. That’s partly why I decided to release it as self-titled. I think for the listener, it’s still abstract enough to find your own meaning. Making this record was healing, difficult and beautiful. I’d been through a challenging year, filled with loss and heartbreak. When everything around you seems to fall apart, you have to lean into something. Music has always been that for me. Recording these songs helped ground me.”
Aycock is known for supporting other acts, such as The Secret Sisters, and as a member of Hard Working Americans. Here, we can enjoy Aycock’s accomplished, soulful solo material. The album is definitely one to devote some time to and ‘Past Life’ is a great advert for it. Check it out.