Indie dance is back, baby. Jai Wolf‘s debut full-length album The Cure to Loneliness hasus jumping up and down in our rooms alone and feeling damn good about it. The ’80s and the mid ’00s crash together with echoing drums and rainbow synth melodies, as clanging guitars and drum machines play perfectly against one another throughout the 12-track experience.
There are moments of calm, emotional breakthroughs and get-up-and-boogie beats. Some of the songs tell a very personal story, capturing the producer’s mood at early sunrise hours stuck in strange airports, fighting to stay afloat in a torrent of emotion, and overcoming heartbreak.
Some of the album’s secrets remain mysteries, but Jai Wolf did open up a bit in this exclusive track-by-track breakdown of The Cure to Loneliness below.
I thought “Lose My Mind” deserved some sort of buildup before diving right in, so I wrote this little prelude to kickstart this album.
“Lose My Mind” (feat. Mr. Gabriel)
Gabe [Mr Gabriel] and I wrote this song back in 2017 while I was demo-ing ideas for the album. It was the first song that started to shape the sound of the record. I went down to Nashville to write with Gabe for two weeks while in the middle of a massive international tour. I had just gotten back from the Australia (and) Asia leg, and we squeezed in this session between that and the India leg. I literally felt like I was going to lose my mind.
I think a lot of people don’t understand what artists go through while touring (especially if you’re quiet about it) and I felt like this was the perfect way to introduce the album: by giving them a raw account of exactly where my head was at for the past few years.
I love this record so much. I think it has the quintessential “Jai Wolf” sound that people might be searching for on this record, while still pushing forward into new ground.
There’s a song on the 2017 Chainsmokers album [Memories…Do Not Open] that I really enjoyed called “Break Up Every Night” that was produced by Captain Cuts. I had only previously known them from their Life of Emo mixtape and had no idea that they were songwriters. I had my team set up a session with them, and they brought in their frequent collaborator, Georgia Ku (who I actually had sampled before for “The World Is Ours”). Captain Cuts and Georgia have such an amazing dynamic — it was cool to see all the ideas flow and build so smoothly from person to person. I’m not afraid of having a bit of a pop flair on some of these records, and I think that shines brightly on this song. I’m particularly proud of the playful guitar work, courtesy of Wes Singerman.
“This Song Reminds Me Of You”
This song is one of my personal favorites. I started this at 5:00 a.m. at an airport, right before heading out on a bus tour. I normally never write music at airports (or at 5:00 a.m.), but I’m so happy I did this one time. This song came together rather quickly, and I think that’s how you know you have something special.
“Manic Pixie Dream”
This one came really late in the process, but I’m really glad we got it over the finish line. It’s fun, big and a little cheeky. I think everyone will really enjoy this one live.
“It All Started With A Feeling”
This song initially was going to be an interlude, but eventually turned into a full song. Either way, it’s meant to serve as a “reset” for the album as we move into the second, more reflective half.
“Better Apart” (feat. Dresage)
Although this is one of the bigger pop tunes of the record, it didn’t start like that. I wrote this song with Hazel English, and it was originally at a much slower BPM. As I continued to work on it, I felt like it could use more energy (at that point in time, I realized my record needed some faster paced songs). We ended up getting Dresage to do some additional writing and to perform the final vocals.
“Drowning” (feat. Robokid)
I’ve known Robokid for a very long time, but it was only recently that he started to sing on his own tracks. I loved the style he was developing and really wanted to include him on my album. “Drowning” is probably the most personal song on the record and really cuts deep for me. Much love to Ethan for helping me bring this one to life.
“Half Hearted Interlude”
I’m a sucker for album interludes, especially when they feel unexpected. I’ll tell this one’s story one day.
“Your Way” (feat. Day Wave)
This song was written in a day, but it took me over a year to finish it. It started off as just an acoustic guitar with Jackson’s [Day Wave’s] vocals, but I thought it would be strange to put an acoustic song on the album if I hadn’t touched the instrumentation. After going through several versions, I finally had a breakthrough. Fun fact: When we wrote the song in 2017, I knew this would be track 11 on the album (even though I didn’t even have any finished songs at the time).
“Around The World” (feat. Now, Now)
I used to listen to Now, Now in college, so it is a massive honor to have them featured on my album. This song is dear to my heart and I think it’s the perfect way to the end the record.
The Cure to Loneliness is out now on Mom + Pop Records. Listen to it below.