DF Concerts presents
Four years ago, Jack Savoretti quit making music. He’d had enough – of scratching a living as an independent artist, of business bust-ups, of being touted as a soon-to-be star. He’d spent two years (and all of his savings) in legal dispute with a former manager and seen the release of his second album so botched it barely came out. He was 26 and recently married, with a baby on the way. “I thought that was my run, I’d had fun and now it was time to get a proper job,” says Savoretti. “I was done with music and, honestly, I didn’t mind.”
What happened next couldn’t have surprised the singer more. “As soon as I said, ‘screw this’, I couldn’t stop writing,” he recalls. “I wrote out of anger, although the songs were more of a cry for help. It was the best, most personal music I’d ever made. I realised I had really learnt how to write, how to express exactly what was in my head.”
That album, 2011’s critically-acclaimed ‘Before The Storm’, saw Savoretti turn a corner. That he was an exceptional singer was never in dispute – those gorgeous, gritty, soul-soaked vocals that caused such a fuss when he first emerged and saw his DIY debut, 2007’s ‘Between The Minds’, championed by Radio 2 – but by his own admission, his early work was him finding his feet.
Most striking, however, is the loose-limbed nature of songs driven largely by percussion. Gone are Savoretti’s troubadour days, although that impassioned voice remains – if anything, grittier and gutsier than before. That groove he mentioned is everywhere, from the dreamy ‘Don’t Mind Me’, a midtempo song with a hip-shaking sexiness, to even the gorgeous, folk-tinged, strings-backed ‘Broken Glass’. That circular approach to songwriting makes sense as soon as you hear ‘Home’s mesmerising chorus, the repeated piano riff of the spectacular The ‘Other Side Of Love’ or the frenzied finale of ‘Fight Til The End’.
Savoretti’s reliance on rhythm is at its most obvious, and most glorious, on Tie Me Down, the first single to be released from the album, leading an EP out in October. A recurring acoustic guitar riff, tribal bass drum beats and a galloping groove back an instantly infectious, near hypnotic vocal on a stompalong of a song that couldn’t spell out Savoretti’s new sound more clearly.