Having been around the Dublin music scene for years, as a member of indie acts Autumn Owls and Bouts, Niall Jackson’s departure to London to work in news production has coincided with moving into a solo role, and the birth of Swimmers Jackson.

Now two records in, Jackson has found a self-assuredness that comes with experience, and so ploughs his own furrow without too much concern for how he fits into the bigger picture. Album two ‘Now Is All’ is influenced by what’s going on around him, but also by what he finds within.

“The album is about that idea of living in the moment, not knowing what will happen tomorrow, now more than ever,” he says. “It’s got a bit of fatalism, a bit of existentialism about where we’re heading as a society. It’s a positive album, though, hopeful. If the lyrics are a little bit dark sometimes, I try to offset that with upbeat melodies and happy choruses, with summery songs.”

“I work in a 24/7 news station, so it can be a bit suffocating at times,” he laughs. “You can’t really look away, and you end up getting caught up in it all.”

“I’m at a good point now where I don’t really worry as much about what people think of me. I know where I fit in the fabric of Ireland’s music scene. It’s a nice kind of ignorant bliss, doing things from afar in London. The London scene is very bitty, and it’s hard to do the required networking. I rely on my Irish knowledge and experience to do more good shows when I come home, really. I’ve no interest in the bad shows anymore.”

“I’d like lots of people to hear my work, of course, and I think they’re good enough to be on the radio, but I’m not sitting at home at night formulating plans to be famous,” he continues. “I think music has gone a bit away from that. Perhaps when you’re a bit younger you’re a bit more hungry, but a lot of people seem to forget they should be writing music for themselves first, and that’s what I’m doing now.”

“Everything on the record is double tracked. A couple of people have said they felt my vocal has got stronger, and that’s because I’m going for it a bit more, I’ve learnt how to use my voice and show a bit more confidence,” Jackson says. “At some stage the voice is going to get worse, so I have to use it while I have it.”

“I have a solid hour now and two albums to choose from for the live show, and I’ve been playing a few of these songs for years,” Jackson says. “I wallowed a bit during the pandemic, but I ended up documenting this weird time, and so everything was written between March 2020 and March 2022. I know what I was doing with that time, at least, even if no one listens.”

Jackson is modest as ever. He has plenty of listeners, and by floating between the London and Dublin music scenes, comes home with something fresh and powerful each time. His determination to write primarily for himself only serves to make his music more powerful. ‘Now Is All’ is, in short, an unusual blend of personal folk and offbeat rock that stands apart for its timelessness.


Write A Comment