When songwriter and musician Jack Bratt released his debut album 'Slow Release' in 2022, the record was met with acclaim and renewed appreciation for Bratt’s skills as a wordsmith and musician. A record that took time to create, execute and deliver, 'Slow Release' proved to be well worth the wait for fans and for Bratt alike; his artistry had been evolving and deepening in its quality for two decades, the release of such a record proved a fitting career touchstone.
Bratt’s return in 2023 then, was always going to be quite the anticipated one. The first new music we’re hearing from him arrives in the form of ‘Hand On Heart', a stunning track that heralds the re-emergence of an Australian songwriting gem.
Written during time spent living in Brooklyn, New York, where he had relocated to undertake the Grant McLennan Fellowship. During this time of creative development, Bratt’s personal life also underwent some big changes.
Against the backdrop of the pandemic, Bratt’s long-term relationship of seven years came to an end, leaving him on the other side of the world, figuring out what was coming next. Navigating this phase during such an uncertain time gave inspiration for the foundation of ‘Hand On Heart’ and from there, the music came to life.
As Bratt explained, “I’d spent a year in a bit of a holding pattern trying to work out where my life was headed after such a huge change in trajectory. I thought the rest of my life was planned out and then it completely changed overnight."
"The lyrical content of the song is referencing a lot of doubt about whether or not I would be able to repair correctly after that relationship, and if I was ever going to allow myself to be vulnerable enough to put myself in the position again. I’d had several short-lived relationships afterwards and just found myself feeling a bit broken and unable to give the emotional depth to those relationships that I wanted to.”
Recording took place in Brisbane at Hunting Ground Studios, with Bratt working alongside Joel Myles (Head Atlas), who produced the 'Slow Release' record. Reconnecting with Joel soon after his return to Australia, Bratt found himself back in a rhythm of creativity that was comfortable and from there, things clicked back into place.
He continued, “The recording of the track was an extremely enjoyable process. I went back into the studio with my producer/collaborator as soon as I returned to Australia after living abroad for a year, and we went straight back to work like a day hadn’t passed. Joel and I have a truly amazing working relationship where it feels very effortless, our ideas are very much in sync."
“It’s new musical territory for me, but I always plan on expanding my sound and I hope to always find it hard for people to think what genre I fit into.”
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