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ITW# 10 – JMY (John Michael Young, ex-Lunar Vacation)

INTERVIEW TIME with John Michael Young (Atlanta, Dream Pop) former member of Lunar Vacation! “Do You Really Want It?”, his new single, is out Oct 25 and an EP will follow in 2020. Full bio and previews of the single at the end of the interview.

John Michael, you're going on a new adventure with your new project JMY. What's the current situation with Lunar Vacation and your former record label, Human Sounds Records?

I left Lunar Vacation in August 2019 to focus all my energy towards creating solo music. I am still great friends with Josh Andrews of Human Sounds Records and will be looking to collaborate on CDs and tapes in the future!

How do you explain your need to go solo after the growing opportunities you encountered with Lunar Vacation?

As time went on, I felt the growing need to create a sound that is different than what Lunar Vacation is known for. Since I was heavily involved in writing and recording music with the group, I felt that the best way to really accomplish what I wanted to was to solely focus on one project, i.e. JMY

JMY - Do you really want it promo 2 - John Michael Young
Courtesy of Sonia Sonera.

Is working alone essentially freeing, or is it a common misconception? Going solo, are you even working alone at all?

I have always preferred working alone over collaboration since getting into recording in high school. I think it has to do with the way I write and create music. When working on a song, I can hear the final product in my head and that is what I always aim for. It can be difficult to communicate a sound you hear or direction you want the music to go when working with others in my experience.

It has been very freeing and a joy to be able to do whatever I want with the songs I am recording. The only person I am working with is Damon Moon of Standard Electric, the same engineer that Lunar Vacation worked with, to mix and master the songs. He has been phenomenal in bringing the tracks to life and creating a technically sound listening experience. 

What can we expect from your forthcoming single "Do You Really Want It?" (out Oct 25) and your EP in terms of artistic influences and production?

My first single titled “Do You Really Want It?” will be available on all streaming platforms October 25th. This song has many guitar and vocal layers, cascading in and out of an environment of reverbed fuzz and echoing harmonies. Those who listen to artists like DIIV and/or Tame Impala will find familiarity within this track. I am hoping that listeners will find themselves in another place when listening to this song and the music to follow.

I believe that the best music transports you emotionally and allows you to capture a feeling of peace or comfort when listening. This is what I am hoping to achieve with my music. I poured a lot of my energy an emotion into these songs and I think people will hear and relate to that when listening. 

JMY - Do you really want it promo 3 - John Michael Young
Courtesy of Sonia Sonera.

What's next for JMY in terms of release dates and shows?

My debut show is 11/02/19 at The Drunken Unicorn in Atlanta, and I hope to regularly play a show once a month or so from then on. I should be releasing another single in November, and I hope to release my EP early 2020!

JMY - Do you really want it single cover art - John Michael Young
Covert art by Nicolette Buzonas.

Bio:

JMY is the solo project of Lunar Vacation founding member, John Michael Young.

John Michael picked up the guitar at the age of 9, and soon after, learned mandolin, bass guitar, drums and keyboard. In high school, he began recording music in his bedroom and quickly learned the fundamentals of music production. After helping form the indie DIY group, Lunar Vacation, in 2016, John Michael recorded, mixed and produced their first single “Anna” and was instrumental in engineering the band’s “pool rock” sound on both their first and second EPs, Swell and Artificial Flavors.

John Michael’s creativity on bass guitar, and his technical ability in the studio and on stage, enabled Lunar Vacation to grow steadily from playing basement shows at friends’ houses to selling out venues on their coast to coast tours. 

After parting ways with Lunar Vacation in August 2019 to pursue his solo project, John Michael began exploring the depths of his multi-instrumentalism. JMY creates a colorful cosmic array of harmonic melodies by blending his love for lo-fi analogue progressive artists like Tycho, with psychedelic pop acts such as Tame Impala. 

All music is written, recorded, and performed by John Michael Young.

Useful links:  Instagram // Facebook // Spotify // Bandcamp

Interview by Marc Louis-Boyard for Slow Culture.

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