This feature was originally posted on Highlight Magazine in May 2019.
Emerging onto the scene in 2018, Overgrow (Jake Ciccotelli) has cultivated a sound all his own that tackles a variety of real-life themes including self-criticism, love, loss, grief and more. The personal storytelling in each of his songs resonates with his listeners, granting them an outlet to release their built up emotions just as Ciccotelli himself is able to do each time he writes and performs.
His new EP, The Name We Share, debuts this Friday on Common Ground Records and features six beautifully written tracks that further enforce his reputation of writing raw and honest anecdotes about life experiences we can’t help but identify with. Ciccotelli recently opened up about the trials and tribulations that came along with creating The Name We Share and how he was able to find solace in his work following the sudden death of his father.
For The Name We Share, Ciccotelli completely altered the way in which he has created music in the past. Beginning with instrumentals rather than lyrics first, the change in his approach, he found, gave him more time to focus on cultivating the six songs featured on the EP, breathing a new life into them that he wasn’t expecting.
“The writing and recording process for this EP was really different for me. We recorded as I wrote this time. I’ve only ever been in bands that recorded complete releases in a week or so. This time, whenever I had a new song ready to go, we’d book studio time and record what we had. I started writing and we started recording in June and ended in November. It was nice to be able to take our time on this one and I think it shows.”
Ciccotelli also used the extra time during the recording process to create a listening experience very different from what is presented on his debut EP, The House You Made. From start to finish, there are no breaks in the six songs on The Name We Share, giving listeners a seamless listen that continues from track to track.
“The biggest thing I wanted was that when you pressed play on the first song, there wouldn’t be silence until the record was over. I’m so proud of how this record flows from track to track, it almost feels like moments in one long song instead of six individual tracks. But, at the same time, I’m so proud of the fact that all of these songs stand alone as well.”
Following the release of his debut EP, The House You Made, an unfiltered collection of songs written following the sudden loss of Ciccotelli’s father in 2017, The Name We Share is a continuation of the themes and sounds heard on The House You Made. Although released a year apart from each other, Ciccotelli is continuing to offer listeners a look inside the thoughts in his head, ones that have been battling the pain and emotions that come along with the sudden loss of a loved one.
“A lot of this record lyrically picks up from where the previous EP left off. It’s all about grief and mourning the passing of my father, but I think this time there’s a bit more closure.”
While difficult at times, Ciccotelli was able to learn more about himself personally and also as a songwriter through the creation of The Name We Share. The period of catharsis he went through gave him more than he anticipated, finally granting him the space to grieve and personally grow.
“I really felt like my happiness wasn’t allowed for a long time, that I wouldn’t be honoring my father’s legacy to let myself be happy. In retrospect, this record is about getting out of that headspace and realizing he wouldn’t have wanted me to be miserable.”
Although about his own personal loss, the topics tackled in The Name We Share are universal, every listener being able to find something to relate to in their own personal life. Incredibly written and composed, The Name We Share is also another great piece of work from Overgrow that shows the musicianship and authenticity Ciccotelli is able to present in his work.
Above all, the personal struggles and moments of clarity Ciccotelli went through to create The Name We Share has given listeners a body of work they can go to whenever they need a sense of comfort or just a moment to release all they have built up inside. The heavy subject matter on The Name We Share, while difficult to fathom at times, all boils down to the main message Ciccotelli wants all who listen to take away from the EP, something that took him going through his own grieving to find.
“The overall message of The Name We Share is that healing is possible and that it’s a thing you should want to achieve.”