New Album, On Moon Island, Available April 16
Amidst a relentless international touring schedule with Bellingham’s up-and-coming indie rock group, The Co Founder, multi-instrumentalist Jake Barrow managed to find the time to record his third solo album at home in the Pacific Northwest. Finding sacrifice and dedication to be necessary, Barrow, aka Vervex, even quit his day job at a cafe in order to carve out extra time to bring the album to life. The 11-song album, entitled “On Moon Island”, finds him branching out and reinventing himself yet again, turning away from familiar electronic tendencies and taking a turn towards hazy, nostalgic pop reminiscent of music from the 60s and 70s.
While elements of Motown and classic rock can be detected, there’s an undeniable presence of Vervex’s unique sonic signature pervading “On Moon Island” - a shimmering, echoing, melancholy sound, massive in nature, that fans connect with around the world. A sense of maturation in songwriting pervades this new album as well, both in style and lyrical content. Barrow courageously delves into more emotionally vulnerable topics than ever before, addressing subjects such as the sudden death of his alcoholic coworker, the decline in health of his grandfather, and his own struggles with anxiety and spirituality as a millennial artist.
True to his jack-of-all-trades nature, Barrow performed and recorded every instrument on the album himself. This meticulous recording process took place either at his home studio in Bellingham, WA or in a converted church down the street. Between drumming on tour in Japan, Mexico, and across the States with his other band, The Co Founder, who he also produces, he booked a lengthy national tour in support of Vervex’s new release. Dedicated fans (aka Vexheads) are already itching for new music from the PNW native and can expect exciting things in 2019, starting with the release of “On Moon Island” via Life Vest Records (April 16th), followed by his national tour and a flurry of new singles and music videos.
The origins of Vervex lie in Barrow’s early childhood, when his drummer aunt handed him a pair of drumsticks. Cruising around Seattle and listening to funk music, Jake would sing along and pound on the dashboard with remarkable rhythm for a 4-year-old. Growing up, Jake was frequently hushed and reprimanded for his vocal nature in the classroom, even made to sit on his own in the corner so as not to be a distraction. After beginning formal drum lessons as a young teenager, Jake reclaimed his creative and musical nature and never looked back. Later in his teen years and early twenties, he released two full-length albums, three EPs, studied under Grammy-nominated artists, competed in MoPop’s Battle of the Bands, licensed songs to Amazon and Mercedez-Benz, scored a film, played in multiple bands (each with their own musical catalogues, produced by him), and collaborated on remixes. All of this in addition to having produced several other groups in the greater Seattle area. And yet, Barrow feels that there is still much creative potential within him, that the rubber is just now beginning to hit the road. “He is doing something that many people think they can do and ultimately proving those people wrong.“ - What’s Up Magazine
Vervex is for fans of Grimes / Panda Bear / Santigold / Youth Lagoon
"These songs are buoyant, enchanting, urgent, and their anatomy is elaborate. This is music that has flamboyant confidence and demands your affinity."
Museum of Pop Culture
"Championing the lo-fi approach to production that’s become ever popular in today’s musical landscape, Jake Barrow (aka. Vervex) has mastered the art of eccentricity."
"A lively audience was ignited by the melodies, and was dancing and crowding the stage throughout the night."
The Western Front
"In the sea of electronic music coming out in recent times, Blooprints by Vervex, stands out and is without a doubt the best electronic indie album you’ll hear coming out of the Pacific Northwest this year...He is doing something that many people think they can do and ultimately proving those people wrong."
Tommy Calderon/What's Up! Magazine
"Barrow manages to take the essence of Bellingham and the Pacific Northwest and turn it into music—music that is both sing-able and memorable."