Singer/songwriter Garrett Jacobs has long followed certain mantras throughout his life, from trusting in one’s heart to following one’s path. And even now, as he preps to release his new song “Young Love” in the midst of one of the most cruel and terrifying pandemic’s in history, one of country music’s newest voices knows one thing for sure.
“God’s timing is always perfect,” Jacobs tells American Songwriter from his home state of Louisiana, where he is currently quarantining with his family. “We had always planned on releasing this song at this time, and I feel like people need to hear this song at this time more than ever before.”
Of course, while this uplifting ode to those first pangs of affection and adoration for another could be seen as a bit of a cruel reminder to all those who can’t be with those they love right now due to the ongoing spread of the coronavirus, Jacobs says he sees it much differently.
“There are so many people in high school and college that are going to be missing things like graduation and proms with the people they love for example, things that have been looking forward to forever,” explains Jacobs, whose song “Young Love” premieres on American Songwriter exclusively on Thursday (April 23.) “Hopefully they can listen to this song and have some kind of connection to that time, where they can think about the love that is still around them or for others, to take them back to a time in which they had that kind of love.”
He pauses for a moment.
“You have people who just want to listen to these kinds of songs right now because it feels good,” Jacobs explains. “People are diving into the lyrics of songs right now, especially young people, because they want to feel something.”
Written alongside co-writers Michael Whitworth and Jason Massey back in November of 2018, “Young Love” came to fruition in that classic, songwriter-esque way – by accident.
“I walked into the writing session with absolutely no idea about what we should write about,” laughs Jacobs, who has been doing as much songwriting as he is fishing during this rather unexpected break from playing shows. “But the second I sat down in my chair and pulled out my computer, I was smacked in the head with the title and I just knew that’s what we had to go with and pursue.”
And pursue they did, reminiscing and recollecting about days gone by and love gained and love lost, and in doing so, found themselves writing a quite visionary tribute to the feelings of love that come before the constrictions of reality set in.
“I wanted to make a song that reflected everyone’s first love,” recalls Jacobs, who has shared the stage with the likes of Riley Green, Jon Langston and Muscadine Bloodline. “I want to conjure up that feeling of when love is fresh and its new and it feels great. I didn’t want it to be sad. I wanted it to be more reminiscent and make you feel good. I wanted the song to make you feel that freedom and empowerment that you instinctively have when you are young.”
He also pulled from his own experiences in the love department.
“Young love usually ends when life takes people in different directions,” he says quietly. “I have experienced that. I was planning on going to college, but then God had other plans…and that’s ok. I really pulled from that. When I write songs, I want them to be personal so you can hear it when you sing it.”
These days, Jacobs is like any other 20-year-old, just trying to find ways to keep busy. He also has seen this time as an opportunity to change things up a bit in terms of his songwriting.
“In Nashville, sometimes you can get caught up in the same cycle,” he explains. “So when you have something like this, where it pushes you and forces you to do something different, like write over Zoom or even write by yourself, I think its actually good for my creative process. It forces me for example, to look at things more introspectively and really sharpen my craft even more.”
Of course, thinking introspectively is nothing new for Jacobs.
“The whole world is slowing down right now, so it forces everyone to slow down,” says Jacobs. “But people like me who like to look into themselves, it’s really a good thing. I’ve been thinking a lot more and writing about those feelings and maybe facing some things that I wrestle with and getting it down on paper.”
And its these things and ideas and feelings that just might find its way onto Jacobs’ next project, most notably on the release of his debut EP in the future. And love? Does he have the time for it right now?
“I’m not in love right now, probably because I’m not actively searching,” he chuckles. “I wouldn’t say no if love found me though.”