John Shakespear Announces Debut Album

John Shakespear Announces Debut Album

Nashville-based, Boston-bred indie-folk songwriter John Shakespear is releasing his much-anticipated debut album Spend Your Youth on May 10th. Walking a fine line between the personal and the political,Spend Your Youth's origins are a coming-of-age story. As a lot of our most classic stories begin, Shakespear's coming-of-age happened amidst a time of escalating national division and social unease; a time where ideas of clarity or merriment or self are few and far between. Spend Your Youth opens with the line "nineteen ninety-four-precious years we had between the wars", giving listeners an immediate idea of where these songs come from.

Treading lightly, but confidently, Shakespear finds his way through his fog and delivers an honest tale, not judgingly from the outside or above reality, but from within life as it happens. "I'm right there in the middle of it," he says, "messing up, rethinking everything constantly, and questioning my own flaws and my place in the world." Producer Devon Dawson (Local Natives) helped bring these thoughts to life. With Shakespear's live band-Sam Wilson (lead guitar), Alex LaRue (bass), John Helyar (violin), Nate Taylor (cello), and Greg Hum (drums)-Dawson produced, recorded, and mixed Spend Your Youth at BearTone Studio in New England and brought in veteran mixer Greg Giorgio (The National, Sharon Van Etten, The Head and The Heart) to mix part of the record.

Today, American Songwriter premiered the album's title track, "Spend Your Youth". A shuffling finger-picked study on moving from a pseudo-"On The Road" adolescence to the more mundane, structured life of growing older, "Spend Your Youth" beckons listeners to "burn as bright as you can" because "all burning must come to an end someday." American Songwriter called the song, "a feeling of wistful nostalgia with deftly picked acoustic guitar and delicate vocal harmonies reminiscent of Fleet Foxes and Elliott Smith."

As the child of an Argentine immigrant and a Boston-Irish mother, as a doubting boy in a Catholic choir school, and as an aspiring artist in the business-oriented world of the Ivy League, John Shakespear has always been between identities and worlds. Finding inspiration from his parent's vinyl collection-in the form of Joni Mitchell, Townes Van Zandt, and Nina Simone-Shakespear's identity as a songwriter started taking shape at an early age. After college, John moved back to Cambridge, MA and developed a following in Boston's diverse DIY music scene, both as a solo artist and a member of several bands, including local indie stalwart Atlas Lab. Amidst regional praise for his first two EPs, Shakespear toured all of New England and Canada in a beat-up Honda Element, before taking his songs nation-wide-Boston to California. 2017 brought a move to Nashville, TN, uprooting, and transitioning; all of which played a major role in finishing his debut full-length,Spend Your Youth.

Catch John on his album release tour:

5/2 - Nashville, TN - The East Room

5/8 - Washington, DC - Electric Maid

5/9 - Harrisburg, PA - Little Amps

5/10 - NYC - Pete's Candy Store

5/11 - Baltimore, MD - The Four-Hour Day Lutherie

5/22 - Boston, MA - Sofar Sounds

6/6 - Boston, MA - The Burren Backroom


Related Articles View More Music Stories


From This Author TV News Desk