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“I'd always been on the side of making up scenarios rather than being really honest about my life within my music,” says Jack Kenworthy of Colouring about his second album Love To You, Mate. “This is the first time I've been able to be more honest and direct. I've not been scared of it because it's not my story. It’s a shared one.”
The Nottingham-based songwriter and producer’s life was upended in February 2021, months before release of his debut album Wake, when his brother-in-law Greg Baker was diagnosed with Stage 4 bowel cancer. What followed was the most “unbelievable” year of togetherness when life seemed set on fracturing the life of a young man.
Colouring has been a solo project since Wake, an album influenced by the 00s post-Britpop greats (early Coldplay, Elbow, Keane) but taking electronic and rhythmic cues from Radiohead and James Blake. Kenworthy’s debut marked a renaissance. “Truthfully, there were a lot of times when I didn't feel completely at home in the music I was making before then,” the Leicestershire native says.
The EPs Symmetry (2016), Heathen (2017) and Bn (2018) were released via Interscope Records while Colouring was a poppier affair backed by three other musicians. The records led to tour support with The 1975, mainstream radio airplay, an extensive headline tour of North America, and Bn’s lead single ‘Time’ featuring on the 13 Reasons Why soundtrack.
Despite being called Love To You, Mate the album isn’t concerned about Kenworthy’s relationship with Greg. “Obviously he's the heart of it and certainly those last two songs are definitely to him, but it would've been disingenuous to make a record just about my relationship with him.”
“My goal and intention with it was a message of love to [the family] and for what they did,” Kenworthy continues. “We were this tight-knit, inseparable group of friends for a whole year… a year that was both horrible and great, in a weird way. I really feel we've made this music together. Our favourite conversation is talking about Greg and this album.”Kenworthy determines: “I've just taken the photograph.”
1. For You
2. I Don't Want To See You Like That
3. How'd It Get So Real
5. A Wish
6. The Light
7. Love To You, Mate
9. 'small Miracles'
10. For Life
11. Big Boots