Damn Jackals Thrive and Thrill Around “Lovely Nuthin”

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

The bones of the song started formulating years earlier when Beau Croxton was then one year sober and living in Georgia with his wife. Shelved for some time, the Damn Jackals frontman revisited “Lovely Nuthin,” a follow-up to the band’s 2018 debut Crooked Castle, Vol. 1, following their 2019 tour, when the band was set to make new music again before the world closed down for some time.

“We knew it was time for new material and it was the first tune I gravitated towards,” shares Croxton. “I like to write about things I have confidence and experience in, and I now have five years of sobriety under my belt. I guess finding the knowledge and solution to remedy my own personal situation through the years guided me to sing very passionately about these themes of addiction and it saw me play to my strengths.”

Slipped around darker lyrics, “Lovely Nuthin’ leaves off on a more triumphant blast, living in its garage-glam state, and licking the essence of New York City living.

“By the end of the song, the lyrics suggest love as a way to guide you through these dark waters so it wraps up nicely with a solution,” says Croxton. “The song also parallels these addiction themes with social media dependency which is something far less dire but has many things in common. I wrote about this wild character in the narrative who is a very carefree, vain, and sort of a party animal. So I guess the music fits the subject’s mental “soundtrack” perfectly—serving as somewhat of a theme song. 

Another era of New York City glitz and glam rock, a la New York Dolls, and some more modern ticks are all in the DNA of Damn Jackals, made up of singer Beau Croxton, guitarists Sean Burke and Max Motchan, bassist Sean McCann, and drummer Mike Goehler. Living in Brooklyn also has a lasting beat with the Jackals, who regularly feature a three-piece horn section, including Carter Yasutake (Charles Bradley, David Byrne, St. Vincent) Jason Disu (LCD Soundsystem), and Noah Dreiblatt (Blitz the Ambassador) during live shows.

“I think living in Brooklyn definitely gives some sonic resonance to our everyday life and influences our sound,” says Croxton, who is continuously influenced by the essence and outer elements of life in New York City. “I am obsessed with sweeping guitar delays, distortion, surprise factors, and high energy in our music. I feel that’s really the vibe of New York City, whether it be spontaneous decisions, screeching subways going by, or the fast pace lifestyle.”

Croxton adds, “Our upcoming material was very influenced by the local energy that became rampant in 2019 in our Brooklyn music scene. The crowd mood was very wild, supportive, and hungry for high energy performances.”

Returning to the “drawing board” in 2020, Croxton says the quarantine gave him unexpected time to reassess the band’s music, without a deadline.

“Ultimately, I think it’s made me want to take things to the next level as far as the arrangements behind the lyrics,” shares Croxton, who also found himself listening to more Turkish music, prog rock, and Afrobeat music, which he says will add some color to the band’s upcoming material.

“In my demos, I would scrap an entire chorus, redo all the bass and guitars and try it over for days to get the perfect result instead of moving on with a great result, because there was no hard deadline,” adds Croxton. “It gave room to be far more critical and do things differently. I’m looking forward to incorporating new skills, vibes, and guitar scales into new songs that I am working on.”

There’s new music ahead, but Croxton is still living in the moment of “Lovely Nuthin'”—the Damn Jackals’ lovely light at the end of a very dark year. 

“It is one of our very favorite tracks to date,” reveals Croxton. “We are so thrilled to be releasing something so fun and upbeat in this hot and lively summer when nature is healing and our city is thriving.”

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