“All I want to do is eat meat,” says Jack Whitescarver, a self-described "really bad vegetarian." This ever-returning impulse to desire something outside the bounds of convention is something that has proven to be thedistinguishing feature of Whitescarver’s musical work, as both songwriting and timbre have proven remarkably less steady over his years making music.
Born in Virginia and raised in Connecticut, this 22 year old artist did not grow up listening to your standard city kid bangers like Jenny from the Block. In fact, Jack couldn’t have started any further from the proverbial block, rather developing a fondness for the supremely weird shit like Irish dancing and medieval chorus music. Naturally, during his teenage years, Whitescarver joined the top 40 pop bandwagon, and it is here within the marvelous intersection of the mainstream and the profoundly bizarre where this artist operates.
So, when asked to describe his sound in three words, Whitescarver rattled off with little hesitation, “sexy, pastoral, and clown” (three words with about as much of a connection as hair, soy sauce, and fig newton). But perhaps the beauty of these three words appearing in sequence lies not in the blatancy of their connection but in the degree of their qualitative difference. A magical blending of everything rather than a monotonous casserole of the same thing.
Whitescarver never actually studied music within an academic framework, instead graduating from Bard College having majored in studio arts. This background is inextricable from his persona as a performing artist. Vulnerability, theatricality, letting your “cool” go, all aspects that can be traced in his art, can equally be identified in his stage presence. One truly gets sense that his songs were meant to be performed. His campiness is authentic, raw, and genuinely enjoyable.
His interest in pop stemmed from this proclivity for the dramatic, for narratives laced with tension condensed into a short snippets with the intention of being more accessible to a larger audience. But Whitescarver contends that it is only when you play with this tension in different ways, supplementing the narrative with layers of dissonance, tomfoolery, and willingness to explore outside of the existing bounds, only then will you hit “the sweet spot”.
“Less concerned with pushing the proverbial envelope of that new new than with forging an authentic identity that translates seamlessly to his music, Whitescarver is somewhat of a modern musical oddity.”