- Kenny Sandberg
INTERVIEW: Jaws of Love Releases New Album 'Second Life'
Jaws Of Love's second album Second Life came out today, so we caught up with the man behind the music Kelcey Ayer to find out more about him and the amazing LP. Focus track, The Heist is also accompanied by a music video which you can find at the bottom of the page!
Hi Kelcey. Thanks for doing this interview with us. Would you like
to tell us a little bit about the name behind the album: ‘Second Life’.
Let me give some context and hopefully we’ll circle back to the answer.
In this new phase of Jaws of Love, I made a ton of music with my friend
Danny Reisch, and I ended up splitting it into two releases, one an EP
released back in May called the Patricia EP, and two this new album
Second Life. The EP focuses on my late mother Patricia and my
yearning to reconnect to my Colombian side through her memory. She
was Colombian and my father is white, making me mixed-race, an
identifier I had never really reckoned with before, and I spent a lot of
quarantine thinking on that. This all lead to my new album in which
instead of looking behind me, I was looking towards the future. Instead
of focusing on my parents, I was looking at becoming a parent. I think
all of us can relate to a feeling of there being life pre-pandemic and then
life now, and with all this new music, trying to become a dad, reckoning
with my new-found sense of self, all while stuck in the eye of a storm, it
felt like I was starting something new. A second life was beginning, with
all its blessings and misfortunes. Through this time my wife and I
suffered two pregnancy losses, which left us beyond devastated. We’re
now thankfully 28 weeks into our third pregnancy, but whatever
happens, I do feel like a new person, changed by so many things. So
naming the album Second Life felt appropriate for what I was feeling
then, and what I’m feeling now.
How would you describe the album to someone who’s never heard
of Jaws of Love?
I had a lot of fun stretching myself into different genres and using my
voice in different ways on this record. I didn’t want to worry about trying
to be too cohesive since nowadays it seems like no one is worried
about that. We’re living in a world where playlists are more famous than
albums, and albums feel more like playlists, which I’m not saying is a
terrible thing, just that I’ve felt more free than ever before to not belabor
staying in one lane. All that to say it’s a very hard question to answer. I’ll
just take a Dali-esque approach: this album is like walking into a club
where the floor is filled with pillows, it’s the same lighting as in Berghain,
the bartender is James Blake and he only sells a Nyquil-whiskey-sodas
spiked with a dash of the truth serum from True Lies, and you’re the
only one there. It’s like that.
You’re a member of another band, Local Natives. How does
releasing your own music compare to that of sharing it with
The two projects have certainly established their uniqueness to me at
this point. Whereas Local Natives can’t be the singular vision of one
person, its uniqueness comes from the blend of five people working
together towards something they all agree is their collective voice,
something that could not exist any other way. It’s distilled into something
of a pure spirit. Jaws of Love is wilder and rougher around the edges,
because it is the solitary vision from one mind, less refined and
workshopped. Both are things that cannot be each other, but achieve
something equally beautiful in their own ways. I love that I don’t have to
answer to anyone regarding my work in Jaws of Love and can be
completely myself, but I also don’t have that same support system when
things don’t go well. Or even when things do go well. Working with
Local Natives, I feel such a huge sense of accomplishment if I can get
one of my songs through the many levels required to ascend to
becoming a Local Natives song. Each have their challenges, each are
Rainbow Baby was a really deep song which we loved, are their
other songs on the album which are as poignant or introspective?
First off, thank you. Secondly I’d say the other song that comes as close
to that would be the album closer, The Heist. I wrote it seven weeks and
one day into our second pregnancy, with the realization that if we woke
up the next day still pregnant, we would have been one day farther than
our previously failed first pregnancy. It was a very hopeful song at the
time, and I think that spirit is still in there, although that pregnancy
ended at a little under 17 weeks. It feels like walking on the razor’s edge
between joy and suffering, a feeling I’ve come to know very well during
this process of trying to become a parent.
What was your process of writing this time, and did it differ from
your first album?
I love to cook so I’ll use a cooking metaphor. Usually when I make a
meal, I go into the fridge or pantry and use whatever I can find to make
into something delicious. I’m really scrappy when it comes to cooking
and can pretty much make something good out of anything. That was
the first album: leftover songs that didn’t work out for Local Natives, plus
other bits I’d saved in my back-pocket that I formed into an album made
in little breaks of spare time. I’m very proud of that album, but it wasn’t
the ideal way to make one. It was an experiment to see if I could make
one (by myself at least). This time around I got to make a proper meal. I
planned it weeks in advance, bought ingredients from specialty stores,
spent half the day preparing, invited some friends, paired wines with
each course, and made one of the most special meals with all the love
and attention I’ve ever made in my life. That is this album. Every song
was purposefully written for Jaws of Love and that project alone, and
they were given the time and attention to truly blossom into something
that feels elevated and uniquely its own, which is what an album should
6. How do you balance all of your creative output, alongside your life
Alcohol. No but really, I don’t know. Therapy and alcohol? Not together.
There it is! Balance!
7. What impact would you like this album to have on your fans or
I’ve come to find that the more confessional I can be, the more my
music connects with people, and makes the songs themselves that
much more impactful. I think this is just a new iteration of that honesty,
and I hope that listeners can meet me where I’m at and hopefully find a
positive way to apply it to their lives. They might even be going or have
gone through the same thing I did, and if that’s the case, then I hope it
opens up the door a little more to help them talk about it. The pain of
pregnancy or infant loss is so deep and traumatic, it’s a shame that the
norm is for it to be suffered in silence. But even if you haven’t gone
through anything like that, I think anyone can relate to wanting to start
over. Start fresh. Start new. Maybe the album can push people to do
that. If they want.
8. What are your future plans for touring, releasing etc.?
My future plans are for the future to make plans for me. I would love so
much for Jaws of Love to create a bigger impact and affect people to
the point that I could justify touring it around the world, but I haven’t
gotten there yet. So I’m going to have this baby and see what the world
would like from me, instead imposing my wishes on the world. Whatever
happens, I’m sure it will be great.
Be sure to check out the new music and support Jaws Of Love, his music is amazing after all!