Hello! Long time, no blog — nice to be checking in here again :) 2023 was a quiet but lovely year at camp wolfjay 💖 I got to play some lovely shows, work on a bunch of music, and prep for some exciting projects! Here’s my top 5 parts of the year ✨

1. Played at Transgenre festival

I was extremely lucky this year to play at a number of amazing queer events, including Gaytimes, Minus18’s Wear It Purple Day event, Bonez Queer Party, and supporting Brendan Maclean at his Melbourne show — but the highlight by far was going to Sydney to perform at the first Transgenre festival!

Organized by my friends Ellie and Tim, it was an incredibly special show, and I felt very fortunate to be a part of it.

wolfjay performing at Transgenre 2023, photograph by The Underground Stage

Performing at Transgenre 2023, photograph by The Underground Stage

“Wolfjay is glorious. Hyperpop doesn’t do it justice, this just plain soars, live autotuned vocals over truly magnificent beats and pads, it’s enough to put a roar in the quietest of throats. Absolutely brilliant.” — The Underground Stage

2. Worked on my debut album

It’s not ready yet, but I spent heaps of time this year on my debut album. As of today, the 23rd of December, I’ve made 134 iterations across the 10 songs on the album’s tracklist, and I’m awfully close to 1,000 hours in total. Yikes.

wolfjay LP tracklist

The wolfjay debut tracklist (as of december 2023)

I don’t have a release date yet, but rest assured I want this record to be really great and am giving it the time it needs to be the best thing I could possibly make.

3. Need, Want, Will.

I was able to take a few weeks off work in April and planted myself in the dining room of my house with a little recording setup and decided to work on some new music! And for extra fun (aka stress) I decided to throw a listening party/house show at the end of it 🙃

I got into a good swing of things each day, and the night of the 14th came around very quickly! About 30 friends packed into my little cottage home to hear the record, while my friend DJ aka @bright_garbage accompanied with some incredible live projection visuals.

I published my performance of 6 of my favourites on Youtube and Bandcamp as ‘Need, Want Will’, a Wolfjay live performance project. It’s the first little preview of songs that’ll be on the debut wolfjay album 💖

wolfjay performing at Need, Want, Will, photograph by Dave McCarthy

performing at Need, Want, Will, photograph by Dave McCarthy

→ Buy Need, Want, Will on Bandcamp

4. Worked on my live sets

Around a year ago I decided to make the move from playing guitar and synth live to just focussing on live vocals + vocal manipulation. I kept working on that this year, and am really happy with how that setup has been going. It feels super fun embelishing my vocals with guitar pedals live. It’s a lot more fun than trying to balance an instrument as well, plus it’s so much easier to travel with for shows!

Wolfjay and their vocal pedalboard setup at Raave Tapes' Melbourne Show in late 2023

"woljfay setup goes crazy @ Raave Tapes' Melb Show, 2023"

5. Was easy on myself

I think a lot about all the things I want to do with music, and the toll that music has taken on my health in the past. I want to be prolific, but I also want to survive. I felt for a long time that I hadn’t earned the right to take a break with music. It was essential to always be releasing something, hyping people up, doing more, and seeming like you were building and growing and increasing. But most of the artists I love don’t do that. They’ll release something, promote it, perform it or tour it, then go back to a quiet place and slowly start making something new again.

I’m not sure where I got the impression that I had to be at every stage of the process at all times, but it’s definitely why I’ve rushed things in the past and not allowed myself to rest.

Realistically, I don’t have much interest in an endless cycle of single, promo, hype every few months. I would much rather aim to put out a great record every 3-4 years and just take my time with it.

I realise that the timing might not be great, and there might not be much of an audience to come back to once I get around to the first cycle of that process, but I’d rather start building towards a cadence that feels comfortable now than keep investing in something that doesn’t suit me knowing I’m just kicking the can down the road.

In conclusion — 2023 was quiet and fun 📫 and I’m excited to keep working on things in 2024! 💖 🏡 thank you for all your support, xoxo jackie / wolfjay