Artist: Jake Soffer
Hometown: Portland, Oregon
Song: “From Sea to Sky”
Album: The Tree That Remained Standing EP
Release Date: Spring 2022
In Their Words: “A few months ago I started experimenting with a short-cut partial capo on my guitar, which gives you this cool open tuning that a normal capo wouldn’t. I saw it as a creative challenge to write a song in a tuning or configuration that was new to me, and I started making up some simple chord patterns to help get my footing. Those patterns ended up being the foundation for ‘From Sea to Sky.’ I actually thought this song would end up being played as a solo guitar piece at a much slower tempo, but it sounded too melancholy and somehow a bit contrived that way.
“I thought to myself, ‘You’ve already written plenty of sad boy music during this pandemic, why not make this song a happy one? What could you do to make it sound more optimistic?’ So I recorded mandolin, bass, and drums. The final ingredient to the recording was courtesy of my friend Grace Honeywell, violin player of the Eugene-based bluegrass quintet The Muddy Souls. Recording her violin parts in my home studio was a fun and organic process, and I’m proud to have a song that has the blessings of a real bluegrass fiddle player.
“Like the other songs on this record, ‘From Sea to Sky’ involves the theme of nature. The past few years have been full of big personal changes for me — the pandemic, a breakup, some growing pains as an artist — and spending time alone in the woods tends to help me process them. Musically, I felt that drawing a connection between certain specific feelings in my little life and larger themes of my surroundings had a humbling effect. To me, ‘From Sea to Sky’ represents the beauty of possibility. When I wrote this song, I tried to capture the feeling of self-doubt and anxiety you get when having to confront personal challenges, but also the pleasure and freedom you feel in finding an escape from things, be it temporary or permanent. ‘From Sea to Sky’ is an homage to those escapes.” — Jake Soffer
Photo Credit: Zach Finch