Jacob Kulick longs for nostalgia

Jacob Kulick has been producing and recording music for over a decade, just not under his own name. He released music under the moniker KULICK, more a band than a solo act, as well as racked up producer credits as himself or The Pear Entertainment, a duo with his fiancé, April Rose Gabrielli. Throughout the decade as KULICK, Jacob shelved a collection of personal, softer songs that never quite matched the band’s edgier, pop-punk adjacent sound.

While in the midst of a momentous move from rural Pennsylvania to bustling Nashville in 2023, Jacob found himself ready to experiment with change in his music as well. Once he arrived in the city, he reached out to Søren Hansen of New Politics fame and, after playing through the tunes with him, Jacob Kulick took centre stage in the recording studio. He recorded his new album, Nostalgia is a Thing of the Past, in ten short days, using Elle King’s live band throughout the sessions.

“I wanted to record it like I recorded early on. Me and my high school cover band, no metronome, just a live band and vocals over it. It felt very classic,” he says of the experience.

It’s no coincidence that he revived his old practices for a record titled Nostalgia is a Thing of the Past. While producing and recording are art forms, that doesn’t mean they don’t become stressful and draining when it’s your source of income.

“I produce as a full-time job, for lots of different styles of music, so that’s always on my mind. It got hard to feel like a writer and artist myself,” he divulges. Unsurprisingly, Jacob began craving the joy of the past. “I wanted to feel that nostalgia again with this record. I felt detached from myself, from my music, and I wanted to feel like myself.”

However, deciding to record these archived songs didn’t automatically cure these feelings of untethering from himself. Jacob reveals the title has a double-meaning meant to represent that incessant desire for nostalgia throughout the process.

“I named it that because, while I was recording it, I felt like ‘this isn’t working. The nostalgia is gone.’ But through the process I became more in-touch with my inner-child and myself personally.”

That feeling of re-connection and introspection is a prevalent theme in both the creation of this record and the release of it, as well as some of the lyrical content. ‘Life On Earth,’ a single close to Jacob’s heart, is a song of questioning, wondering why we truly were placed on this Earth.

“I’ve been waiting to release it pretty much my whole career,” he explains. “Anytime I played that song for someone else they were like, ‘this is the one.’ It was a song I wrote in college; I left a small town in Pennsylvania to go to college in Philadelphia. It was about my life, wondering what I was doing here on Earth and what God was like, if there even was one, and what it was like up there.”

Even in releasing this album, Jacob is still practicing living among the uncertainty of changing his sound and artistic identity. Part of that has shaped his approach to this release, owning that “Selfishly, this is a record very much for me. It’s something I needed to make for myself. I have no expectations for it because I just need to get it out.” 

The whole process is experimental, he says, admitting that “I’m still experimenting with going as Jacob Kulick.”  He explains his thought process further by describing the stark differences in how he has to put himself out there as a band versus his authentic self.

“When I was KULICK, it was a product and I felt like I was advertising myself as a brand. Now, I almost feel naked. When I post, it’s not marketing. It’s posting as me, almost saying ‘please like me.’ If I wasn’t a musician, there’s no way I’d be on social media,” he admits. 

Ultimately, although this record is intensely personal and authentic, Jacob is facing the release much like he has his previous work. “I go through this every album cycle and I always come back to the same thing: it’s like therapy for me, and if people want to join in my therapy session, there are plenty of seats available.” 

Stream Nostalgia Is A Thing Of The Past here: https://onerpm.link/NostalgiaIsaThingofthePast

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