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SOMETHING IN THE WATER, Jake Ybarra’s debut full-length album, will be released on April 7.
Something In The Water
Something In The Water, the debut album from South Carolina’s Jake Ybarra, is a synthesis of nature, nurture, influence, and observation, with emotion and insightful storytelling. Jake explores the buried depths of the heart, beginning with a yearning for life, love, and understanding and ending with celebration at rekindled love, demons defeated, and lives well lived.
The characters in Jake’s songs frequently resemble those in the works of his favorite authors, George Saunders, Stephen Vincent Benet, and Ernest Hemingway. He was also influenced by secular icons Guy Clark, John Prine, James McMurtry, and Townes Van Zandt, as well as the “church” music that he was raised on.
SOMETHING IN THE WATER was recorded at Nashville’s The Castle Studio and produced by William Gawley (Taylor Rae, Taylor Hicks, Taylor McCall). Bryce Roberts (Lady A, Florida Georgia Line, Hootie & The Blowfish) engineered and mixed the record. Famous pickers participated in the project, including David Flint, who played electric guitar, mandolin, and acoustic guitar on Highway 101 and Billy Montana. Wynonna, Brooks & Dunn, and Lee Ann Womack’s bassist Dow Tomlin Billy Thomas on drums and backing vocals (Vince Gill, Willie Nelson, and Miranda Lambert) and Dane Bryant on piano/organ (Dolly Parton, Olivia Newton John, and Clint Black). Throughout, Ybarra played acoustic guitar.
Jake was born in Texas but grew up in Greenville, South Carolina. As a boy, he started singing in choirs, and as a teen, he started playing in rock bands. It was only natural that Ybarra, pronounced e-BAR-a, would eventually pursue a career in music. His mother was a classically trained pianist, his father was a semi-professional horn player, and his brothers all played guitar.
Jake set his sights on a career in baseball when he was 15, but an injury forced him to take a different path. He continued his education after graduating from high school by enrolling at Furman University, where he received a degree in Political Science and Government and completed an internship at the European Parliament in Brussels. Jake took songwriting seriously after graduating.
He turned his full attention to making music, influenced by Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, James McMurtry, John Prine, and Lucinda Williams. His “pandemic project,” Basement Songs, a four-song EP, was recorded by Ybarra in 2020. He got a dedicated local following as a result of that effort, a management deal, and the chance to record SOMETHING IN THE WATER, which comes out April 7.
Jake enjoys reading, cooking, and spending time with friends in addition to being an avid runner. He now resides in Nashville, Tennessee.
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