30-08-2023 Music 38

Berkley - Your Place

Berkley - Your Place

Portland indie pop artist Berkley presents his new single 'Your Place', previewing his debut full-length album 'Pueblo', slated for release on September 1 via Oregon-based label Big Secret Records. While recent singles explore his history and hometown of Pueblo, Colorado, here Berkley holds the mirror to himself, examining his past only to realize that it endures.

Berkley revisits the good, the bad and the ugly, Berkley concluding that ultimately, some things never change. He sums it up best in the chorus: “I’m uncomfortable with myself / you think you leave that behind but it stays on your face”.With verses that sketch one view of the past, Berkley revisits the good, the bad, and the ugly as he comes to terms with how some things never change.

Berkley explains, “Your Place started as an attempt to write as if I were 12 years old but possessed the vocabulary and perspective to capture all the big new feelings I had. That exercise led me to realize I haven’t stopped feeling as out of place and anxious as I did in middle school. The song came to be about the insecurities that stay with you and how they shape or guide your life despite your best efforts."

Interrogating the small spaces shared between what-ifs of the past and the realities of the present is where Berkley’s songwriting shines. Earlier, he released 'Pueblo Nights', which explores themes of memory, youth, and growth in Berkley’s hometown of Pueblo, Colorado, and 'Fiesta Day', where he blows the dust off the events that shape us to reveal what follows, revisiting the end of a teenage friendship with clarity brought by time.

Berkley is the nom-de-plume of Andrew Jones, a recording engineer whose production and songwriting adventures include recording with former Cher bassist and ASCAP award winner Bob Parr, a power pop collaboration with members of The Offspring, and the “gorgeous” (AV Club) synthesizer project Sound for Bombs.

As Berkley, Jones weaves together a wide range of influences, diving in with renewed vigor for writing and performing. In terms of his origins, after touring in his own punk and metal bands in his teens and early 20s, Andrew Jones took a chance on the Los Angeles songwriting scene, ultimately finding himself as part of a team of writers tasked with developing early ideas for Michael Jackson’s comeback album.

Following Jackson’s death, Jones reevaluated his path in music and stopped writing and performing for three years while he taught university writing and literature. Jones’ muses returned in 2010 when he quit his teaching job to immerse himself in jazz guitar studies and rekindle his relationship with music and his primary instrument.

As of August 14, 'Your Place' is available via Bandcamp, where the full 'Pueblo' album (out September 1) can be pre-ordered on CD and vinyl, the first 100 of which come in a random color (brown, army green, gray, or purple). It also includes exclusive audio from vintage Pueblo KDZA broadcasts and field recordings captured in Pueblo locales significant to Berkley's life. A seamless listening experience track to track, side per side - this is how Pueblo is meant to be heard.


Read also