Dublin songwriter and producer Zach James Douglas is releasing his debut EP '6x3' everywhere September 10th on ZJD Records via Faction Records. With his debut single 'Something / Anything' released only in April this year and two follow up singles 'Even As The Knife Went Through' and most recently 'Anyone Else', James Douglas has established himself as one of the country's most exciting artists. His debut EP '6x3' is a 6 song, genre-fluid, exploration into a past relationship. A lyrical heavy, honest and autobiographical look at how a past relationship broke down, Douglas uses this collection of songs as a cathartic and freeing way to exorcise past demons. The results are truly stunning. Not only lyrically but sonically.
Using an array of guests vocalists, from childhood friends to acquaintances met online, Douglas vents vicariously through the talents of those he trusts with his intimate lyrics and focuses his talents on creating a sonically delicate and ambitious backdrop to further his cause of painting a picture of an artist scorn but ultimately better for it.
About the 6 song debut EP Douglas says....." “6x3” is a project that I have always aspired to make and is something that I have gradually developed and scrutinised over, for the past three years. I’m the type of person who loves the nitty gritty detail (the nerdy, boring stuff) of electronic music production and I’m obsessed with songwriters and producers who can create noises and soundscapes that I've never heard before, so from the moment I decided to step out as a solo artist, I was confident in the genre of music I wanted to create.
The issue, which I felt stunted the progression of this project, throughout the early stages of its inception, was that I initially didn’t feel I had a strong enough message to convey or a relatable truth to tell. However, this changed with the abrupt collapse of my relationship and the deterioration of my mental health that subsequently followed. Very quickly, this fledgling project, which before, seemed more like a disjointed amalgamation of experimental ideas and sounds, suddenly became an avenue for catharsis and an outlet to channel and focus the hurt, anxiety and shame that I was experiencing.
From the very start, I knew I could never in good conscience release an empty, self serving record. I knew that if I was going to release music under my own name, it had to be brutally honest, it had to be authentic and no matter how uncomfortable, it had to convey the true extent of my mental state at the time, warts and all. This was of paramount importance to me, throughout the entire writing process, but was a source of great anxiety, given the fact that I can’t sing! This meant that I had to expose every insecurity within each song to those who sang them and I had to trust that each singer would convey the detailed aspects listed above. The choice of singer could ultimately be the difference between a record that I was proud of and the constant feeling of regret, over the record that could have been. However, if I was ever given the chance to choose anyone else to sing these six songs, I would still choose Kintsuku, Saoirse and Manamon every time, as they went above and beyond anything I could have ever asked of them and brought each song to life in a way that I could have only imagined, and for this, I will always be grateful."
A recurring theme throughout Douglas’ first furor into the moody abyss of a solo songwriter, is the concept of nature versus technology. This is best illustrated through the stark contrast and combinations of natural, conventional instrumentation and synthetic glitchy soundscapes. However, it is also seen through Z.J.D’s desire to dispel the natural feelings of shame, anxiety and depression and instead compartmentalise and methodically process these emotions in a way that humans are generally not capable of.
With the promise of lots more music to come, and the much anticipated return of live music on the horizon, 2021 has been an exciting year for Zach James Douglas, even if the first half of it has been enjoyed through his aging laptop screen, while sitting at his parent’s kitchen table.