Daily Discovery: Jack Skuller, “Tell Me Your Heart”


Videos by American Songwriter

Rock ‘n roll wasn’t always the domain of old dudes with beards.

Jack Skuller loves vintage guitars, the Kinks, and happens to a baby-faced 17 year old who’s as comfortable playing Radio Disney fairs as he is nailing Elvis Costello covers in Manhattan bars. His music is a refreshing reminder that the genre was once exclusive to the teenage set.

“Tell Me Your Heart” is an early ’60s-inspired tune Jack wrote shortly after he started driving. It’s analog, vintage, and cool, but with a sincerity missing from a lot of the ironic throwback recordings of the hipster sphere. We sense a lot of potential in this budding songwriter.

ARTIST: Jack Skuller

SONG: Tell Me Your Heart — words/music ©2013 Jack Skuller (BMI)


TURN-OFFS: Insincerity and rudeness.

TURN-ONS: Conversations that maintain themselves, a lively audience, a good recording studio, vintage guitars, being at the beach. But I am so obsessed with vintage gear, really–I look up guitars and amps and such every day. It gets to the point when I’m torturing myself by reading about all these items I can’t have!

STARTED PLAYING MUSIC: Started performing/writing songs at eight years old at school talent shows; I had been going to shows and listening to all types of music since my toddler years. Music has always been in my family–I used to watch my dad perform around New York. That’s really what made me want to have this career.

FAVORITE LYRIC: ‘All I’ve got’s a sunny afternoon’ — “Sunny Afternoon” by the Kinks. The first time I heard that lyric I immediately related to it. For me it was like, “Hey, I may be young and the times may be changing (as they tend to do), but I’ve got rock’n’roll and that’s all I really care about.” That may not be exactly what the song was written about, but that’s what I took from it.

CRAZIEST PERSON I KNOW: My 10 year old brother Oliver… but the good kind of crazy. He’s the smartest, funniest kid I know and he always knows how to have fun!

SONG I WISH I WROTE: “All Things Must Pass” — George Harrison. To me that’s one of the most beautiful compositions ever written and I’ve performed it myself a couple times. George was a phenomenal songwriter.

I WROTE THIS SONG: After I started driving, I wanted to write one for the road. I really channeled my 50s sensibilities in the studio on this one; you know, that feeling of being so in love you could die. I’ve played before with both drummer Ira Elliot (of Nada Surf) and bassist Jeremy Chatzky and they dug in and nailed this track. I’m very pleased with the way “Tell Me Your Heart” came out.


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