Jeremie Albino cast audience members under his sweet-sounding spell at Rockwood Music Hall, August 1, to promote the drop of his debut album Hard Time on August 9 by Cinematic Music Group. This up and coming Americana artist is authentic as he is soulful. Born and raised in Toronto, Jeremie moved out of the bustling metropolis to picturesque Prince Edward County. It was there that Jeremie discovered his sound of blues and folk while farming and delivering produce. His insightful lyrics in his folk songs and soulful voice provide a fresh perspective that seamlessly blends blues, folk, and rock’n’roll. The alchemy of his songs provides mysterious smoke to his melodies and heartfelt lyrics.
Compact in a small and intimate venue, all listeners got to get up close and personal with Jeremie as he performed his swaggering upbeat songs, “Hard Time,” and “Last Night.” Just when the tempo was set, he slowed it down with his folk ballads, “Shipwreck,” “Storm,” and “Midnight Wedding.” His authenticity was highlighted when he profusely thanked the audience for coming out and staying through the show and even gave a shout out to his mother. His down to earth and relatable solo stage presence is endearing as it is effective, drawing in the audience for a closer look at this wonderful talent.
A week later, we were able to have a chat while Jeremie was on the road to his next show in Ohio. Over the phone, we were able to discuss his writing habits, upcoming album, and the legends that inspired him.
The Knockturnal: I hear you are on tour right now, how has it been going so far?
Jeremie Albino: Yeah just three shows and then back home. We are on the highway on the way to Ohio. It’s been great! It’s only been four months since I put out my latest single, and it’s been pretty receptive. People have been coming out to shows to listen to my music and that still feels new to me because I’m just used to my friends and family coming out. So it’s been good.
The Knockturnal: Your songs have a very authentic retro sound to them from the ’60s and ’50s, what music or musicians inspire you in your sound?
Jeremie Albino: When I started playing music and learning the guitar, the harmonica was my first instrument, so I always loved Blues so it blended itself really well with the harmonica. In my early music learning days, I learned all of the classic country blues, so that kind of inspired me. I always like that kind of rootsy, one-man band, these guys doing these songs all by themselves. That’s how I came up, on playing guitar and writing. That drew me to other stuff like Honky Tonk. It all comes from the same thing really. I also really like HipHop and stuff. One of my favorite records is by Wyclef Jean.
The Knockturnal: What is your writing process like?
Jeremie Albino: I think it’s evolved a bit. Whenever I’m out and about and something just gets stuck in my head, like a melody or a lyric that I really love, and tape it into my voice recorder and keep building on it. A lot of the times, I get my ideas when I’m driving. I work on farms and I do deliveries from the countryside to restaurants, so I’ll be in a car for most of the day, just singing to myself. I think it really sets the vibe of the melody being in the country. Like “Amelia” I was just hanging out in the living room with my aunt, reading a book and it just came into my head.
The Knockturnal: Do you have a song of yours that gave you kind of a hard time in the creative process?
Jeremie Albino: The one that was really hard was “Midnight Wedding.” For some reason, I just couldn’t figure it out. I always have the main story in my head with a ballad or the verses that are telling the story of a love song. Arranging it for the band and stuff took years! There were some bumps we had to go over with the producer. I had always been writing these songs solo and performing them by myself, so I’m still trying to figure out how the band fits into it and if we need a band or if we just keep it solo. That was always tricky.
The Knockturnal: “Shipwreck” is a very slow and Bob Dylan-esque song, can you talk about the inspiration behind that song?
Jeremie Albino: “Shipwreck” is the first song I ever wrote and at the time, I think I was around 16 or 17 and I was like, “how do people write songs?” I was just jamming, and I came home, and I wrote it down. I just had that one lyric in my mind, “I’m a wreck, I’m an old shipwreck.” It was pretty literal when I was writing it. I still do that when I’m writing, I don’t try to find too many metaphors, I let them find themselves really. I literally was like, “maybe I’ll write a song about a shipwreck.” So, I wrote a song about a shipwreck and it told a tale of the sea basically. People seem to connect with it a lot. I was literally Wikipediaing shipwrecks from 1883 for research. I hope that doesn’t take away from the mystique of the song.
The Knockturnal: In contrast, “Last Night” is a great upbeat song, can you discuss the background of this song?
Jeremie Albino: I always liked dancing, it’s one of my favorite things to do. I really didn’t discover this until I got older, like I never used to go out to clubs or anything like that, so I went with a friend to this dance hall at like a dead-end road with a little bar. They would play Top-40 Hits and it was where all the young kids would go to get drunk, and I was about 20 or something like that when I first started dancing, and I fell in love with it. So, I wanted to write a song that matches that feeling that I had when I was in that old dance hall.
The Knockturnal: When you were performing you mentioned your debut album coming out, any idea when that will be?
Jeremie Albino: It comes out August 9th, so on Friday!
Check out Jeremie’s debut album and fall under his soulful spell.