“This isn’t a bop. This isn’t pop. this isn’t what a blog, or what the radio people want” is a brave thing to sing during the opening moments of your new single, but Jake Howden does it with such confidence. and purity. Proudly honing his own lane of indie-pop, Howden is creating music that means something to him and isn’t afraid to steer away from the current streaming and chart trends.
‘Its My Birthday’ is a tongue in cheek song with a serious undertone that explores the complexities of the music industry and the inner battle an artist has, circulating whether to be artistically true to themselves or create something that can gain mainstream traction. Playing as an honest commentary, he also explores the pressures of being an artist and people wanting new music so frequently which has him questioning the artistry of it all.
Sonically this song is very DIY, and he floats between indie-pop, experimental layers and a Jazz base that gives the sound the social edge it needs. It’s like nothing else out at the moment and he takes comfort in that. Structurally, it leans towards the controversial commentary that The 1975 have embraced within their music and using his platform to actually say something. He could’ve just released a “pop bop” like everyone was expecting from him but instead he proclaims “its my birthday” which strategically fell on the release day of the song. And as a newly 24 year old, he questions his priorities and goals that anyone else in their mid twenties can also resonate with whole heartedly.
The complexities and layering of this track is quite deep and it can be interpreted in so many different ways which is the artistic beauty of this song. However it’s a song that you need to warm up to. Because it is so complex and different, on a first listen you will probably be a little unsure with how to feel. But with each listen, the unique quirk of the song and Howden’s delivery will grow on you and have you really intrigued with this artistic endeavour.