I'm Jason Newton. I've been writing and recording songs since I can remember. Distance Of Hope is my latest band.
My latest project is called '12 Songs' where I'll be releasing a new song and video at 12pm on the 12th of every month for the next 12 months. The first song and video 'Lisbon' is released on Friday 12 June.
Been enjoying playing some records today. I’d forgotten how much I like just sitting down and listening to them.
I’ve recently been listening to Tim’s Twitter Listening Party where people listen to a selected album at the same time and while it’s playing, musicians who made the album tell stories about their experiences and swap comments with fans. It’s just a bunch of people who love music talking about music in a quiet little space of the internet. In these strange days we live in, it’s a lovely thing to be a part of. There are a few albums a day every day so there’s always something you like and also things you never knew you liked. One of the lovely things about it!
How many solo albums are going to be released after lockdown? Whenever that may be. Like everyone, songwriters and musicians have been holed up for the past couple of months or so with no outlet most are familiar with such as gigs or rehearsals for them to write, record and perform. So where does that energy go? Into writing and maybe recording at home doing a solo album. Or two. Or three.
One of the challenges of lockdown from a songwriter’s point of view is what to write about. It’s been a strange and anxious experience for everyone across the world and inevitably there will be a mountain of lockdown-related songs coming out in the coming months. But beyond the obvious themes of escape and contagion, there are also thousands of little stories which express that sense of humanity which is a perennial theme for all writers regardless of medium.
For example, I was at the health centre recently helping some elderly neighbours with medication and while there we got talking to a woman whose husband was in a terrible way. She was his carer and we lent an ear and helped how we could to ease her burden albeit for just a few minutes that day. Although lockdown has created a multitude of themes to write about, I was still finding that it’s the everydayness of people that is still the most inspiring thing to write about. I thought about writing a song about that situation and her story that day. Hopefully I might even start writing it soon.
Since lockdown started in Spain in March, I’ve been inspired by having lots of time at home and having access to a bass guitar for only the second time in my life and as a result I’ve written and recorded about 16 songs since. At one point, I was writing one a day… Though not as prolific at the moment, I’m still happy to report I’m still finishing 2 songs a week. Long may it continue…
I borrowed a friend’s bass for a few days to maybe do some recording with it. And then lockdown happened. Fortunately for me, that means I’ve had it for the last two months where I’ve discovered the joys of playing it while simultaneously learning how to play it.
Photo by freestocks on Unsplash