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5 THINGS TO PREPARE BEFORE RELEASING AN EP WITH JACOB FITZGERALD

Jacob Fitzgerald & The Electric City is out now!

Image: Michelle Pitiris.


Naarm/Melbourne-based indie-rock artist Jacob Fitzgerald has delivered his new EP, Jacob Fitzgerald & The Electric City. To celebrate the release, the musician has shared some guidance with MILKY and told us five things to prepare before releasing an EP!


"In my mind, 'Jacob Fitzgerald & The Electric City' is the closest I'll ever get to a self-titled project. Early on in my career, I was stumbling through this industry as a solo artist and there was a heavy emphasis on the Singer/Songwriter thing. I was busking, gigging and recording by myself, and whilst it was great fun... I was missing something. After a few years of networking, good luck, and natural evolution, I'm fortunate to have found my people. My family. My driving force behind what we do. The band." Fitzgerald shares of the release.


"After almost five years of releasing music as 'Jacob Fitzgerald', this was the first project where it wasn't just me. Everyone tailored their individual parts and carved their own personal style, sound and flavour into the song. We co-wrote, arranged, and made the music what it is today. It was a group effort, the next step and exactly what I needed for a new era of music. This EP helps mark the next phase in our evolution. It's a time stamp and helps me share an identity. Pair that concept with six cheeky bops, and you have an outfit that is proud, motivated, and hungry to play these bad boys live."


Fitzgerald will hit the road later this month, supporting Loose Bricks on their national tour. Kicking off in Meanjin/Brisbane on November 25, the run of shows will continue on to Gadigal/Sydney and Tandanya/Adelaide, before wrapping up Naarm/Melbourne on December 17.



Releasing music can be tricky. There are always a lot more moving parts that people are unaware of and it can lead to feelings of overwhelm and uncertainty. So, with that said, I’ve listed five things that are vital in preparation for an EP (or any music project really) through some conversations with mates, industry professionals and my own personal experience. Let’s dive in.


KNOW THE TRACKS

Jacob Fitzgerald – Musician/Me. My top priority when it comes to EP preparation is always around the songs. I always advise taking top priority in knowing the tracks you’re making. See, it’s all well and good to have a bunch of songs written that you’re willing to record, but it pays off long-term if you know them inside and out before heading into the studio. For me, it’s an extensive demo process, reference tracks and constant workshopping with the band. As an artist on a budget, I find this helps save time and money and makes us more efficient in the tracking process. If the songs are already “found” so to speak, it then means we aren’t digging or building tracks whilst on the clock. We go in and smash it. I also find that having a clean-cut idea of what this project looks like sonically helps with everything else preceding the finalisation of the work. From marketing and promotion, all the way down to the visuals of artwork, photoshoots, and other forms of creative direction. You can see it all out in front of you and can pair things accordingly. Because realistically, if you yourself, know your music, then you know how to present it to the world.


FINALISE FIRST – KEY DATES SECOND.

Rob Carroll – Good Intent / Good Loco Rob is the cream of the crop when it comes to PR. It’s always a genuine pleasure riffing on ideas and getting insight into his world. He is knee-deep in the releasing stage of music all year round. Here’s what he had to say around EP prep:

“The most important consideration when preparing to release an EP or Album is... preparation! I’m a big believer in getting all your key assets (bio, mastered tracks, press shots, artwork and video content) finalised before setting out any release dates to ensure a smooth rollout. This way, you can focus on the things that really matter without scrambling around pulling these key elements together i.e., marketing, PR and connecting with fans. It seems so simple, but many get too excited and jump the gun. We often get emails asking if we can work on promoting a track that’s out the next day (or worse, the release is already out), and unfortunately, it’s a big no, as we need time to get all our ducks in a row. We generally require six weeks' notice to factor in our strategy and workload capacity due to demand. This can differentiate from agency to agency, but generally, everyone is going to need some ample notice and time to prepare everything, to ensure the strongest results possible."



COHESION MATTERS

Alex Walker – Producer/ Bassist in “The Electric City”/Best friend: The way “Rick” goes about music is very similar to mine. We co-wrote ‘Long Way Home’ together and often chat about all things music, the industry and what it’s like releasing bodies of work. As a producer himself, I wanted to pick his brain about what he considered to be vital in the preparation process. “I think these days there is a lot of pressure on releasing everything you have in the vault. Songs on an EP can stand alone, and you don’t necessarily need to have a concept album type thing, but I think cohesion matters. EPs are a time stamp, whether it’s a bunch of songs or something more tailored, I think song choice and picking tracks to fit the vibe is really important. We saw it when making this EP (‘Jacob Fitzgerald & The Electric City’) – we left tracks on the cutting room floor. It’s not that they were bad, or not finished, they just didn’t serve the overall aesthetic and message of this record. There’s a lot to be said in not rushing releases and showing people that you can make consistent, solid projects that serve a purpose. That’s my opinion anyway.”

HAVE YOUR DUCKS IN A ROW

Jayden Roy – Destroy All Lines, Yeah That Management:


I met Jayden back in 2019 when doing my first ever headline show. From the get-go, it was clear he knew his stuff and has proven that time and time again when I constantly bombard him with questions. Similar to Rob, Jayden’s message was to ensure asset completion with a specific focus on how it leads to gained opportunity. A prompt, proactive approach to collecting what is needed well before it’s due. “Having all your assets (final mix / final promo shots / final music video / updated biography / final artwork) all settled far in advance… [never leave anyone] waiting for anything until the last minute. Having all your ducks in a row before you even make the first move is vital to gaining more opportunities in the long term with media. The longer you leave these things to the last minute the more you hurt your chances of gaining more opportunities and building that relationship with the media side of things, specifically things like radio premieres/video premieres/reviews/interviews and more.

WALK THE WALK.

Jacob Fitzgerald & The Electric City – (a great band): When spitballing this topic with the gang, we came up with a semi-biased answer. PREP THE LIVE SHOW!


The best part about dropping a project like an EP is the fact you get to play the songs live! They become like your business cards.

The band and I are big on translating studio recordings to stage performances. A cohesive set and allowing the live show to remain fresh and exciting for both new and old fans is super fun to explore.


When chatting to bandmate, Reuben Hawkes (Drummer) he mentioned:


“It’s super important to tailor a set around new material in a delicate way. Stacking old tracks and fan favourites in between a new sound is a really good way to hook an audience and familiarise them with a new sound. Realistically, playing a show is the best promo you get. You get to capture listeners with a performance of something you created which they can then ultimately go and consume at home. If you nail the correlation between stage and studio, the interest in something like an EP naturally grows. Walking billboard kind of thing.”



Jacob Fitzgerald & The Electric City is out now!


JACOB FITZGERALD SUPPORTING LOOSE BRICKS


FRI 25 NOV | BLACK BEAR LODGE, MEANJIN/BRISBANE QLD SAT 26 NOV | HIWAY ENMORE, GADIGAL/SYDNEY NSW FRI 16 DEC | CROWN AND ANCHOR, TANDANYA/ADELAIDE SA SAT 17 DEC | THE WORKERS CLUB, NAARM/MELBOURNE VIC