Jack Johnson‘s life is peppered throughout his music, perhaps especially so on his sixth studio album, From Here to Now to You. Johnson sat down with Radio.com and explained that the majority of the 12 tracks on his new album were written through the eyes of his children. That’s not to say there aren’t any love songs, though.
“I have three wonderful kids and its fun to look at the world through their eyes,” he told Radio.com. “It’s inspiring. And then I have a few love songs. It’s just usually me trying to make my wife laugh and then they end up being the songs.”
While his past few releases touched upon topics of loss, that wasn’t the case this time around. “From what I hear, this one I sound like I’m in a content place on this album.”
Johnson says his first single, and the song that kicks off the album, “I Got You” is a snapshot of where he is as an artist right now. “Even when life isn’t always easy, it’s just nicer when you have somebody you can share it with,” he said. “The hard times and the easy times.”
Throughout From Here to Now to You Johnson shares his personal stories with the listener, but it’s not always easy to reveal so much of his life in his music.
“I have to find this balance of when they’re these personal stories and how do I share those with people without giving away too much of my privacy,” he said. “I usually just choose the ones that are giving a certain truth to a relationship. When people hear them I think they identify with them because they put themselves into the song. I haven’t had too much of an invasion of privacy. I feel like people usually tell me, ‘We met at one of your shows,’ or ‘We used that song at our own wedding.’ I hear these stories where people use them in their own lives or experiences [and] it makes me feel OK about continuing to put them out.”
His wife, Kim, is often a part of his songwriting process as “Never Fade” tells the story of when they first met at the school cafeteria.
“The love songs, I’m trying to make her either laugh or fall in love with me again. The magic only happens a few times when I first share them and then they fade away as far as that conversation between us. I can’t just keep singing that same song to her everyday, she’d get tired of it,” he said. “Eventually I decide they’re worth putting out there. She always feels comfortable with it. When I put them on an album their not ours anymore, we’re sharing them with everybody.”
He added: “Now it’s like putting love out in the world. If I can put songs out there that when people listen to them, if they’re on their way to work and it makes them feel really good about being a human and they get there and they’re treating other people better that day because they’re in a good mood from the music they’re listening to, it just feels like those are all reasons to put positive music out into the world.”