Jake Downs

Cambridge-based, but originally from Devon, the 22-year-old composer and multi-instrumentalist was signed to Vox Humana Records at just 18 years old when the label stumbled across an iPhone voice memo recording of what became Jake’s first single on Soundcloud. Brought up on a diet of Kate Bush and Björk Jake’s musical upbringing has had a clear impact on his songwriting, drawing from a range of influences from Justin Beiber and Stockhausen to the British synaesthetic composer Deborah Pritchard who taught Jake whilst he was studying at Oxford University. Jake’s time at Oxford marked the start of his shining career on the live circuit which has seen him perform everywhere from the 12th-century Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford to the legendary Troubadour Café in London’s Earl’s Court.

Jake’s debut album ‘Fracture’ functions as a memoir of thoughts and memories fractured across time and space – from the poignancy of ‘Cypress Tree’ to the rose-tinted nostalgia of ‘Orbieu’. The duality of the album plays on both meanings of the word – from the broken and disjointed evoking thoughts of pain, to something that can be healed in time. Musically, the project is broken up by the dissonance of ambient noise and electronics that are married to the more traditional classical sounds. ‘Fracture’ is a chronological tale through the dark periods and into the light, where the central track, ‘Port Meadow’, functions as a turning point in the album documenting the moment of realisation that things needed to change.

It is with great emotional maturity and musicianship that Jake is able to take something so personal and raw to create a piece of music so distinctive and inspiring. His voice, reminiscent of Tom Chaplin (Keane) and Anohni (Anthony & the Johnsons) may sound like the voice of a traditional pop artist, but his approach to music, songwriting and production is innovative and absolutely unique.

(Photo: Christina Webber)

Discography

Seize The Water (Single – Vox Humana, 2012)
Crave (Single – Vox Humana, 2013)
Chrysalis (Single – Vox Humana, 2016)
Wild (Single – Vox Humana, 2016)
Fracture (Album – Vox Humana, December 2016)

 

Jake Downs website

Jake studio 2015