“But there’s time to change the rules/Teach the right hand to play a left hand tune,” ’90 Degrees’
They say that there’s nothing sweeter than the second bite of the cherry and that’s something critically acclaimed tunesmith Wendy Jack would agree with. After first bursting onto the scene in 2011 with her stunning, reputation making debut single ‘Sunsets’ (which earned her runner up status in the Song Of The Year category in the annual, hugely prestigious International Songwriting Competition), the Dungannon, Co. Tyrone-bred artist then turned plenty of heads with more spell binding tales of myths, legends, love, loss, world issues and woolly jumpers.
Just when she was finding her feet, she decided to walk a different path in 2014 though, relocating to the picturesque Rathlin Island to work for a conservation charity. However, much to her fans’ delight, this detour was mercifully brief and a fistful of years later she re-emerged, re-energised and raring to go. 2019 saw the release of her retrospective album Sunsets (named after the song that started her journey) and the magnetic opus re-introduced the fiercely talented musician to music lovers worldwide, while also earning her a wealth of new followers.
Featuring eight tracks, the album sees Jack tackle many genres and moods and is imbued with that same fearless spirit that drives the performer in her every day life (Wendy was previously an award winning “Adventure Tour Guide Of Ireland”). Inspired by the past (‘Fairies’ features words from the famous 1850 poem ‘The Fairies’ by William Allingham), the present (the environmental themed ‘90 Degrees’ uses comments from her Facebook page as lyrical fuel) and the far flung future (on ‘Crash Land’ this sonic explorer delves into the world of Pink Floyd-flavoured, proggy sci fi rock), Wendy says of Sunsets:
“I wanted to use this album as a way of saying, ‘Hello, I’m back, and here is a collection of what I’ve done before.’ There is definitely a strong Irish folk influence on this album… and songs with a social conscience. I think of it as Irish folk with a dash of protest or at least with an element of social commentary or story telling, like Christy Moore is known for.”
Not content with one mention in the International Songwriting Competition, Wendy’s song ‘90 Degrees’ has also just been awarded runner up in this year’s contest and she is humbled to once again be included alongside some giants of music making.
“It’s a real honour to be given such an accolade, especially considering the number of talented people who enter this competition from all over the world,” she says. “Being recognised in this way definitely spurs me on to keep working at and improving my technical skills as a professional songwriter and it definitely helps me get my songs out to more listeners. As an artist though, I do believe that all creativity has merit and the best reward is always when someone really connects with my music on a personal level.”
If Sunsets is a welcome recap of her wonderful journey thus far, then 2020 is the start of a new adventure for Wendy Jack. Promising more music on the way that’s akin to her live sound backed by a subtle but effective production, expect her to make even more new fans and friends over the months ahead.
For tour and release updates, stories behind the songs and more visit wendyjackmusic.com
Praise for Wendy Jack
“Jack’s imitable croon creates worlds and stories you could get lost in.” Hot Press magazine
“[Sunsets is]…a strong and infectious debut from Wendy Jack. Good lyric, melody and hook, strong performance, the emotion is there too, and high production values. In my experience, these are the kind of ingredients that help jump you up the airplay queue in radio land…” Liam Merriman, The Green Room on WLRFM.
“I think ‘Woolly Jumpers’ is a very, very good Christmas song. I think it should be up there with the Pogues” Errol Doherty, QRadioNetwork