Words by Asha Krishnan
Following his stream of success, Birmingham-based golden boy Jack Frohlich has just released his second five-track EP “Silver Going Grey”. Writing songs in his bedroom and riffing on his acoustic guitar, Jack paints a vivid picture of boyhood experience and growing up. He is shaky on his feet and blissfully evading responsibilities: he stumbles home late after one too many, runs around the city with his friends, and gets high off the thrills of bad decisions and successfully avoiding the nagging questions of his parents. Jack’s lyrics are charming and boyish, but also introspective and relatable.
After a few failed attempts (life, eh?) Lippy Magazine finally caught up with Jack to chat about the new release. Afterwards, we got his tunes playing loud on the stereo, remembered that today is a Friday and cracked open a tinny, and finally sat back to enjoy the sunshine – even with those bouts of grey.
Jack! I know we’ve tried this a few times. Today is going to be the day, we promise. How are you? How are you feeling about releasing the EP?
I’m doing good thanks! It’s definitely been hard work. This is the first time I’ve really promoted an EP. My debut ’The Illustrations’ was just put out into the world with little, if any, promotion behind it. This time round I’ve definitely learned a lot and gained lots of new experience which I’m really proud of. I can’t wait for people to hear this project even though it is a very scary thing. My style of writing has always been very vulnerable so it’s also quite scary knowing that people are listening to my struggles, as well as judging whether or not they like the tracks.
Where are you from? Do you feel that it has inspired your sound in anyway? If not, how would you describe your sound?
I’m originally from London but now I go to The University of Birmingham. I would say I find it difficult to find inspiration from one area, but I’ve definitely felt more pushed to try and get my music out there because of the Birmingham scene, a community of young artists with some underlying (and healthy!) amount of competition. Other than that, I’d say my style falls under the umbrella of indie pop rock, but that does just feel like a genre that a lot of music is put under when it fits with no other genres.
How long have you been working on “Silver Going Grey”? Did you set out to write an EP? Or were you writing the songs separately and found that the tracks came together?
The writing process started in May 2020. There were a few times where I had considered releasing it earlier, but I wanted to try and plan it, so the release was in a relatively good place within the pandemic. This has obviously not quite gone to plan… After writing ‘Superhero’ which was the first track I wrote for the EP, I then knew I had the concept and went from there. I knew that after I had written one song I really liked, that I wanted to get another EP out. This time around, the sound I wanted to put across was very different to ‘The Illustrations’. An EP is a good way to redefine my sound.
What inspired the name “Silver Going Grey”?
For me the title of the EP is generally the last thing that comes, so I set about writing all the tracks and in the process, the title ‘Silver Going Grey’ just kept coming up. It really resonated with the message and the themes, but it still has quite a personal feel to me which I like too. People used to comment on the fact that I have ‘silver’ hairs, how cute they found it… I’m not too sure when this changed, but it soon became, “you do know you’re already going grey right?” That transition felt like an interesting way to comment on growing up and the way people perceive you during that time.
The line “You have yourself to listen to / while everybody else stumbles about” is a powerful one. What inspired the concept for You Have Yourself?
‘You have yourself' is about one or two club nights in particular where my mental health started to spiral. It’s something that’s not really spoken about amongst students, but going on a night out can be a very isolating experience, and I know a lot of people who go through this. The idea that everyone around you is having such a good time, getting smashed with their mates, stumbling about, while you just stand there overthinking every little move and genuinely struggling to enjoy the night, is one that I wanted to get off my chest because I had never really spoken to anyone about that struggle in the past. I find music has always been a medium which I can express these thoughts and feelings.
I saw you have a couple of live shows coming up in June. How are you feeling about returning to live music?
It’s hard to say exactly what I’ve got coming up this year because of the volatility of everything, but live shows are something I’m desperate to get back to. The two gigs in June will both be socially distanced, but even those I can’t wait for, and they’re a good warmup to get back to non-socially distanced gigs. I honestly think gigging is one of the main reasons I do anything music related, so to have had that so limited over the past year has been frustrating, but makes the prospect of the return of live shows that much more exciting.
“Silver Going Grey” is live now on all mainstream music platforms.