with Weston Smith and Sofie Winterson

Songbyrd and Union Stage Present
Downstairs, All Ages

DOORS: 7:00 PM // SHOW: 8:00 PM



Songbyrd and Union Stage Present

Sunday April 28, 2019


The Finland native brings his synthy psych-pop to the Byrd!
In this age of constant connectivity, switching off has become one of the great luxuries of modern life, and it’s one of the reasons Jaakko Eino Kalevi has called his new album Out of Touch. He explores what he calls this “essential, blissed out” state on this second album for Weird World – his first since 2015’s self-titled release – as he meditates, in classic Jaakko fashion, on the merry-go-round of the daily grind.

Drawing inspiration from time spent in Athens, on Out of Touch the Finnish songwriter broadens his horizons while focusing on his inner self. “Everyone knows the meaning of out of touch and it usually has negative connotations, such as lacking the latest information,” he says. “But to be out of touch can be the most ideal state.”

Written and produced by Jaakko Eino Kalevi in 2017 in studios in Helsinki and Berlin, where he lives, these ten new songs are among the richest he has composed. Ranging in style from the Gerry Rafferty swagger of ‘China Eddie’ and Motown psych of ‘This World’ to the Aegean dub of ‘Conceptual Mediterranean Part 1’ and continental pop of ‘People in the Centre of the City’, each song is characterised by that familiar JEK warmth and melodic flair. This album – his fifth solo set – feels like a natural step forward for an artist whose all-round skills have led him down some intriguing paths in the time since his last full-length. Notably, he played on David Byrne’s recent ‘American Utopia’ album, and in 2016 he was invited to join the line-up of Crammed Discs’ cult Belgian new-wave band Aksak Maboul for a run of shows. Last year, Jaakko’s synth act Man Duo released their debut album Orbit.

Much of this new record, he says, was inspired by the hazier elements of human experience: childhood recollections, nocturnal adventures, dreams and chance encounters. “When I was a kid, the things I was most afraid of were junkies and aliens,” he says of ‘Emotions in Motion’, one of the album’s many standout cuts. “I lived in the countryside and I was always happy to visit my cousin in the city because you’re more likely to get kidnapped in the countryside as there are fewer people for the aliens to choose from.” ‘You were afraid of junkies and aliens, but that is no more… those days are gone’, he sings in the chorus, looking fondly at a more innocent time.

For his lyrics, JEK seizes on the brief moments of lucidity that emerge from those situations. “The chorus on ‘Fortune Cookie’ is from a fortune cookie,” he says. “Songs work in the same way as those messages: you interpret them based on your own situation.” On ‘Outside’, which slides from a syrupy groove into a cosmic rush of Pink Floyd wig-out, he was inspired by a stranger outside a coffee shop. “This guy came out from the park and asked me if I would like to have the ‘perfect formula’ for the day,” he recalls. “I said yes, and he wrote something on this piece of paper. I used those words for the lyrics of ‘Outside’. He made me feel like his words were from exactly that moment, about the colour of my shirt or the sky at that time, but then I met this guy one year later and it was exactly the same.” In Athens, another chance encounter inspired the record’s opener ‘China Eddie’, where the titular Eddie appeared from nowhere to lead the musician home, lost after dark in the city following a late night in a bar.


Weston Smith is a DC-based forest dweller crafting synth pop tunes from the heart. He uses his memories to create dreamy synth orchestrations filled with driving grooves wile sharing lush lyrical stories from the past. Weston has played with notable artists such as Shamir, Lawrence Rothman, Wild Ones, Arlie, and Plastic Picnic. Let Weston take you on a journey through his dream world. His new EP Greetings From The Crystal Kingdom releases on 4/26.