How Jaunt Are Coping with Isolation: Stream-of-Consciousness Journalling and Supporting Local Businesses

"The record could not be more in line with this moment we are collectively experiencing. The themes of this album turned out to be strangely prescient."
How Jaunt Are Coping with Isolation: Stream-of-Consciousness Journalling and Supporting Local Businesses
As alumni of Exclaim!'s Class of 2018 concert series, Toronto pop eclectics Jaunt are taking the next step with the release of their debut full-length, All in One. Recorded with BADBADNOTGOOD's Alex Sowinski, the album arrives on April 16; the day before (April 15), they will share a visual album stream shot on 16 mm film, showing the band members at home alone.

Interestingly, that film was actually made before the lockdown began, and the album's themes of isolation are curiously relevant at this moment in history. With the band's touring plans having been put on hold, we caught up with Duncan Hood about fleeing Los Angeles in early March and what the band have been up to since.

What's your self-isolation setup?

I'm living at home in Toronto with my partner and roommate right now and feeling very lucky to have the company and space. I've got a little studio set up to work on ideas but am not drumming as much out of respect for the neighbours. Trying to minimize stress and the walls are pretty thin. We are fine on supplies! When we do go out, we've been trying to shop as much as we can at our neighbourhood stores. Support your local businesses, people!

Are you working on any music while on lockdown?

Well, we've been trying to get everything in order ahead of our album release on Thursday (April 16), so that's been taking up a good chunk of time. It's our debut we've been working on for a while now and are really excited to be sharing it. The timing is a bit unfortunate in pausing our touring plans, but we are finding that the visuals and ideas presented on the record could not be more in line with this moment we are collectively experiencing. The themes of this album turned out to be strangely prescient.

As for other stuff, we are always working on new ideas and passing them around over email, whether they're songs or visuals or whatever! We're amassing a bunch of demos we hope to refine for a new collection in the near future.

What are you watching and listening to?

Drag Race on Friday nights has been a gift during this lockdown — probably the closest thing to the opposite of dread. Been trying to catch some live streams when the timing works out — watched James Blake's, which was really sweet. Loved how intimate it was and he did some cool covers (Radiohead, Billie Eilish, Joni Mitchell). I watched a recent Thundercat interview that got me to reconnect with my love for D'Angelo's catalogue. I have been attempting (to varying degrees of success) to play along to those records on bass. The feel is insane. Floating Points and Vegyn have been on heavy rotation. Want to shout out some Toronto artists — Luna Li and Jonah Yano put out some beautifully intimate songs recently!

How do you feel about the response to coronavirus?

Although not perfect, its easy to feel proud of the Canadian response when you look at the tragedy unfolding south of the border. I can say that the CERB program has been essential for a great deal of people I know (including bandmates) who have been laid off or cannot work. I just found out last week that I will be getting laid off too, so I will definitely be leaning on the benefit to help cover rent and food.

There has been some awesome response to the situation from the community — some of my favourite restaurants have been donating food, friends are making care packages for their frontline-working friends, and just generally I've noticed people making genuine efforts to check in on one another, especially those who are isolated or suffer from issues around mental health. It's been great to see.

Have you picked up any new hobbies or routines in isolation?

The day before the U.S. government began tightening restrictions back in early March (which feels like a lifetime ago), I travelled to L.A. for a two-week work trip with a friend. Over the course of the first few days we were there, L.A. entered into a lockdown. After receiving almost simultaneous texts from our respective moms asking about our plans, we flew back home. Mother knows best. My friend and I had to go into isolation for 14 days, where we decided to get into the routine of guided meditations and stream-of-consciousness journalling (just a few pages of scribbling first thing in the morning). Post-quarantine, I've found both activities essential to my daily routine. They calm my mind and get me jazzed for the day ahead. For anyone looking for a bit of peace, I would recommend just giving these things a try. I was skeptical at first and it took me a few days to get into it, but now, I can't imagine a day without them. They've been super helpful.

Find out what other Canadian musicians have been up to under self-quarantine with our Isolation Nation questionnaire.