Very cool and from Vancouver, Jordan Heaney aka Yung Heazy, is the newest face of dream pop. His musical stylings, similar to artists like Mac DeMarco and Cuco, are soft, subtle and sweet. Lyrics focused on romantic themes, are strung along by a soft guitar.
The urgency to his music comes from the contrast of those themes in the music’s art work. The song that launched the project Yung Heazy was a song written for Heaney’s girlfriend as a Valentine’s Day gift. The artwork that was attached to it, oddly enough, was an image of a woman being hugged or groped by the devil.
The debut album of Yung Heazy’s, Whenever You’re Around, I Hate Everything Less, will be out June 1st and follows this theme of chaos and mayhem. But the contrast in artwork and sound are what make the music standout. It’s an acknowledgement of the crazy, hectic, sometimes overwhelmingly sad world we live in and the fact that the remedy to this is that one special person.
Question: Being such a new artist and releasing your debut album apart from your two hit singles, who is Yung Heazy?
Answer: I’m just a dude from Vancouver and I like playing music and I write my own music. I’ve just been playing music in the Vancouver scene for a long time and just the songs got notice.
Q: The first two singles of yours came out a while ago. What has been the transition been like between those two songs and the upcoming album?
A: I’ve been more aware of my songwriting. Those songs were written pretty passively and kind of like one take on everything. It’s different writing a song when you know people are going to hear as opposed to just writing it in your parents basement and being like, ‘oh just a couple of my friends are going to hear this thing.’ I’ve just been more aware.
Q: And where did you come up with the new title for the album? Is there a message that comes with the album and your new approach to writing music?
A: Well the title of the album, ‘Whenever You’re Around, I Hate Everything Less,’ is a lyric from “Cuz You’re My Girl,” and it summed up just how, I don’t know, I felt it had something tragic about it. You love this person but it also implies that if they’re not around then you’re just going to be slumped back into a pretty sad existence. Yeah I thought it summed up the songs on the album pretty well.
Q: Does that tie into the artwork? The first two singles you put out were very unique. And your album keeps that going. But they’re very dark in their own different ways. Does that tie into the music?
A: Actually, when I got onto Alona’s YouTube channel, she had attached the artwork from this artist called bape.ril, and so I didn’t have a relationship with the art, but she was really smart in putting those two together because I think they compliment each other really well. The art itself, there is kind of like a dark edge there, just being this person that is obviously in love with devil. It’s so tragic so romantic.
Q: What about for the album? That art has happier colors but what’s going on is still super dark.
A: It’s kind of like a children’s coloring book sort of thing, but all the characters in it are going through some pretty rough times. Kind of the end of the world going on. There’s explosions. There’s a nuclear blast. In the center there, there are two people going through life. They’re ignoring all the crazy messed up stuff and just holding on to what they got going.
Q: How did you come up with that? Is it the same artist or where did you get it?
A: No, this is a guy, Hudson Partridge, he did the artwork. And he plays in a band called the Jins. He’s a really talented artist. I’ve always liked his artwork. I can’t remember where I came up with the concept. It was just like, I thought what’s the most extreme way of representing ‘whenever you’re around, I hate everything less?’ In a just very literal sense, everything around you is terrible and being destroyed and so when you’re together with that one person you can ignore all that messed up stuff for a small period of time.
Q: What are your plans for this album?
A: North American tour, man! Going all over the place. First time touring with Yung Heazy ever. We’re going through Canada, Calgary and Winnipeg, to Montreal. Then we’re going down to the states, like New York, Chicago, all the way through L.A. and the back up, Portland. Yeah, it’s going to be pretty intense.
Q: And it’s your first time going through the U.S.?
A: Yeah, probably like 90% of the cities I’m going to will be the first time I’ve ever been there before.
Q: Where did you come up with name Yung Heazy?
A: Oh, that was like- [He laughed at the question.] I kind of thought it would be funny to have a name like that that’s usually associated with hip-hop, like that type of music. But I didn’t really have any ambitions with this project. I just thought, ‘I’m going to release some side music because I’m bored and I want to put out more music. So it was just a name that happened to stick.
Q: Now with your debut album coming out, do you have goals or ambitions for the project?
A: Oh yeah! I have huge ambitions now, man. I want to take over the world. I want to create crazy landscapes of music, orchestra stuff. Like every kind of genre; I just want to go nuts with it. Theres so many things I want to do with music. I try to write songs like every single day. The better I get at recording and producing, the quicker I’ll be able to get material out.
Q: What are your influences? What genre is your sound?
A: I think dream pop, or bedroom pop, is pretty good. Like I didn’t come up with those names, but they were kind of associated with the music from the start and I think that’s fine. I’m happy to be associated with the other musicians in that genre because they’re pretty good. [For influences,] I’ve got like the Holy Trinity. I’ve got John Frusciante and all of his stuff with Chilli’s and his solo project, Julian Casablancas, his solo stuff and the Strokes, and then Thom Yorke from Radiohead. Those are the three musical acts that I’ll always come back too and try to take inspiration from.
Q: Circling back to the album, are the two previously released going to be on it? And are you releasing any singles before the album comes out?
A: Oh yeah, they’re on there! Yeah a couple surprises in the works. They’ll be coming out real soon. You’ll see it as it unfolds.
By Antonio Villasenor-Baca