[PREMIERE + Q&A] Jake Feeney’s ‘Pipe Dreams’ Is a Folk-Inspired Masterpiece

By Alissa Arunarsirakul // August 27, 2020

Jake Feeney may have grown up making amateur recordings in his father’s home studio, but now the self-taught guitarist has entirely mastered the craft. With a considerably intimate feel, it’s no surprise that Feeney’s debut album offers the most vulnerable parts of him. Between the hints of folk and charming acoustic guitars, ‘Pipe Dreams’ is most certainly Feeney’s best work yet.

On Pipe Dreams, Jake Feeney exclusively shared with us,

“This album is my letter of recognition to all the emotions and states of mind I’ve had growing up, and through learning about what I want from life.”

The Hidden Hits has your first listen of Pipe Dreams below:

To celebrate the release of his new music, we recently chatted with Jake Feeney about his bedroom studio, John Mayer, and of course, Pipe Dreams.

HH: Rumor has it that you’ve been into music since you were a child. What inspired you to become a musician? 

JF: The closeness to music runs through my family. Taking in what my dad Joel has done, as a songwriter and producer, inspired me to start writing as a young kid. I was moved by songs, and I wanted to write something that could give that feeling to someone else. When I was 13, playing guitar became my muse, and expressing myself just made a little more sense.

HH: Pipe Dreams is such an impressive collection of ten songs that we’d say quite perfectly suit your artistry. Can you describe your creative process for the record?

JF: Thank you! Most of these songs came from a single lyric or a melody idea. I like to write lyrics that can interpreted uniquely by whoever is listening. I got very into the aesthetic of channelORANGE (Frank Ocean) and 22, A Million (Bon Iver), in terms of the recording and production. I wanted this album to give off that vibe, but led by guitar and vocal melodies. I did everything in my bedroom – sometimes aiming for a real studio feel, other times fully appreciating and employing the birds outside my window. 

HH: Whether it’s the charming instrumentals in “We Used To Float” or the soothing rhythm guitars in “I’ll Get Halfway,” Pipe Dreams has a wide range of soundscapes. Which track on the record resonates most with you?

JF: The song “Ageless Storm” resonates most with me. I had a lot of very real moments while working on it and finding the missing pieces. I feel like some days when I listen, it hits home in a way I didn’t understand while writing it.

HH: Pipe Dreams leaves us off with “The Hall,” which is the perfect ending for such a moving album. How did you feel when you finally completed the record?

JF: These songs have been through many phases, and my relationship with each is rich. I got into every minute detail of the production, and learned as much as I could along the way. I promised myself to not be finished until I was happy with all of it, which can take a long while. Now that its done, I feel a little older, a little more complete. Excited to see how other people might feel for these songs.

HH: How has COVID-19 affected your life as a musician?

JF: The main thing I’ve missed is performing and bringing everyone together. But I have been able to hunker down, finish this album, and focus on what is valuable to me.

HH: Your sound has been compared to the likes of John Mayer and Jack Johnson. If you could collaborate with either one, who would you pick?

JF: It has to be John Mayer… and I think anyone reading this who knows me, knew I would say that. I’d like to create something very different together, along similar lines as his co-write with Daniel Caesar. 

HH: If you could turn back time and write any hit song, which would it be?

JF: Great but seriously tough question. I’m going with “All My Loving” by the Beatles. They have enough hits and I think it wouldn’t hurt to go back and take one. That, or “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac.

HH: What are your three hidden hits?

JF: “Freaking Out on the Interstate” by Briston Maroney, “Milk & Honey” by Billie Marten & “Phone Down” by Pat Williams.

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