An aurora at dawn, Jak Housden is revered by his contemporaries as a guitarist of immense eloquence and grace. Yet it is the psychedelic pop sensibility of Jak’s songwriting that paints the kaleidoscope of an artist deep in the cacophony of his craft.
On Friday the 21st of August, Jak Housden celebrates the release of ‘Bombs’, his first single in many, many years. Produced by Jak and mastered at Abbey Road Studios, London. His voice resplendent, Jak’s occasional convocations of melody and harmony draw upon the late ‘60s West Coast sound, which delivers you at the intersection of Fillmore West and The Whiskey on Sunset Strip.
Reflecting upon ‘Bombs’, Jak muses, “Inspired by yet another random act of terrorism, this time in London, the song ‘Bombs’ kicked ‘round in my head for quite a few years, before it was finished, then recorded. Slowly taking shape, bit-by-bit, it ultimately found its psychedelic stomp to accompany a narrative that spans the present age. Of course, there’s always been a witch-hunt going on, of one kind or another. It simply seems to some folks today that western civilization and contemporary society is the modern-day witch.”
‘Bombs’ is the first single to be lifted from a set of songs that stylistically come together in the form of a new record-album, to be released in early ’21. Although there’s the promise of a little more sunshine on the LP, contrasting the bleakness of London on fire.
Jak’s infatuation with the guitar began at age eleven, when he witnessed The Police play live at the Hordern Pavilion. By his mid-teens he was performing regularly around Melbourne, before The Badloves emerged in 1990. As a founding member of The Badloves, Jak developed his signature bluesy/psychedelic sound, turning heads and winning hearts. The Badloves Get On Board, which featured Jak’s composition ‘I Remember’, was a double platinum-selling top ten hit.
In 2001, Jak joined The Whitlams, ahead of the group’s fifth studio album, Torch The Moon, which debuted at #1 on the ARIA Charts and went Platinum soon after. The group’s sixth studio album, Little Cloud, emerged in 2016 and went Gold. Every year, ever since, The Whitlams has remained a regular feature of the Australian theatre and pub touring circuit. Australia’s first symphonic indie act, The Whitlams has also performed with every state Symphony Orchestras in Australia, which includes 12 sold out shows at the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall. A new Whitlams album remains a work in progress, in collaboration with Producer Daniel Denham.
In 2004, Jak released his debut solo album, Mad About Disco, which featured an array of diverse styles from 60’s garage to disco pastiche. Although in more recent years Jak has established himself as a highly sought-after session guitarist and backing vocalist. He has demonstrated an astounding versatility to perform and record with a variety of artists, including Barry Gibb & Olivia Newton John, Tim Minchin, Richard Clapton, Steve Kilbey (The Church), Daryl Braithwaite, Steve Balbi and UK newcomers, Gentlemen. On Steve Kilbey’s latest solo album, ‘Sydney Rococo’, Jak features prominently on guitars, co-wrote various songs, and shared backing vocals with wife, Robyn Loau.
Jak’s film & television credits include the Emmy Award-winning animated Beatles series, Beatbugs, which he recorded with Cat Stevens, Rod Stewart, Chris Cornell and Regina Spektor. In 2017 Jak was the guitarist and Music Advisor on the critically acclaimed biopic Friday On My Mind – The Story of The Easybeats. Presently, he is the Musical Director and Lead Guitarist for the Pure Gold Live concert series, performing with an array of artists, such as Ross Wilson, Kate Ceberano, The Wendy Matthews, Eurogliders, Rose Tattoo, Sean Kelly (The Models), among various others.
Quite apart from his session work, with live music now in hibernation, Jak is known to spend eternal nights cooped-up in his home recording studio, cooking-up new pop/psych musical fair of his very own.