“Give me something to believe in, a feeling” sings Jacob in his debut single “Lonely Heart”: Smooth production and casual guitar strings create a melodic song between rock, pop, country, and R&B that tips it off with Jacob’s effortless harmonies. Similar positive vibes are given in his follow-up release “Same Love”, put out on February 12 – two days before Valentine’s Day – as the lyrics and the feel of the song coincide with love and affection for one another.
Jacob Lutz, a singer, songwriter and guitarist from North Carolina, who early in his life was always around music, started playing with drums and eventually guitar at the age of fourteen. First listening to Christian music as a kid as he grew up in church with his parents who were pastors, then later on, finding the love of guitar players when he started watching a lot of John Mayer, Jason Mraz, Gavin DeGraw, and got inspired by all these artists to also pick up a guitar and never stopped playing until the present day.
Originally from Clayton, North Carolina, Jacob got inspired to move to Nashville in January 2019 after Hubert Payne, the drummer for Little Big Town, linked up with him on Instagram and told him about record- and publishing deals that were possible from there. Jacob: “I’m from North Carolina, I couldn’t do that from there. So when I moved here, they signed me to a publishing deal so I could start writing songs for a living and then work on my artist career.” So he packed his bags to follow his dreams though had a rocky start at first when he tried his best to make ends meet: “I was running sound in the middle of the night from 6:30 at night till 3 in the morning when I first moved to Nashville to get money”
Then, basically after two months of living there, his publishing- and artist development deal was finalized in March of the same year, and since then writes songs, puts them out, plays shows and is able to live his life out of music, with three to four times a week performing on stage throughout the recent years.
For his first single release though, Jacob was in no rush: “We waited a long time to put out the first song/single because I like a lot of different kinds of music. So I didn’t know necessarily where I wanted to start. When we wrote “Lonely Heart” it felt like a combination of a lot of stuff. It didn’t really feel like necessarily country, only pop or R&B or whatever. It felt like a lot of things kind of combined, and so that to me felt like a good place to start.”
The concept for “Lonely Heart” though, came in 2019 as well, simply by having a conversation with his co-writers Kelly Archer and Blake Bollinger. After writing a lot of songs and not coming up with any ideas, Jacob just simply talked it through: “Sometimes you get into the room with your co-writers and you don’t really have any ideas so you just have to start talking. And I was talking about like after you’ve been single for a long time and the feeling of being ready to feel something again.” It wasn’t until Kelly Archer, one of his co-writers, took the words from Jacob’s conversation and combined the elements of loneliness and heart into a melody. “We were all talking and talking and then Kelly came back in the room and she was like ‘What if we did something about a lonely heart or something like that?’, and she kind of sung that first line of the chorus – ‘Lay your lovin’ on this lonely heart.’
The concept worked and Jacob took his guitar and started finding the chords to suit the melody. Blake Bollinger, the so-called ‘track guy’ as they call him, built up a drum beat and worked on a smooth production in the studio. Basically, all three of them simply went with the flow and started doing what they did. Jacob: “We didn’t have that idea waiting and sitting around to be written. It just kind of happened in the moment which was cool.”
The feel-good vibes that bring in “Lonely Heart” continue through in follow-up single “Same Love”. Jacob starts off in a smooth flow with country-esque guitar strings, backed up by a calm piano lead by his effortless harmonies that get extra backup by background singers – creating a blend between euphoria and relaxation in one. Like handicraft work did Jacob connect pieces together that eventually shaped the idea for the song: In a response to a text from his girlfriend, he simply answered ‘same’ in feeling the same way she did. The word stuck to him and connected it with ‘love’, the nickname that he uses for her, and wrote down ‘same love’ as title on his phone, willing to write a song with that name (due to the double meaning of either ‘same, love’ how he responded to the text, or simply both sharing the ‘same love’ for each other), and eventually finalizing the track with the help of Blake Bollinger and Andy Albert.
The result is yet again an engaging song where Jacob attracts the listener with his smooth voice and solid production and mixes around with different styles. When Nashville oftentimes is seen as the place where country music was shaped by pioneers like Johnny Cash, it’s also known to offer a place and room for everything in between: “There’s a lot of different music in Nashville. There’s my kind of music and then there’s really country, old school, pop country, and a lot of funk and soul music, too – It all fits in pretty well in Nashville.”
So while “Lonely Heart” and “Same Love” fit right into the vibe of the city, they also carry universal sounds that are able to blend in outside of Nashville and outside of The US as well. A 6-track EP is his next goal and planned to follow up his single releases.