Jaymes Young finds success with DIY recording

Jaymes Young literally recorded in a bedroom studio in Seattle, where he began a few years ago with a vintage Macintosh computer and GarageBand. But now, in his California home in Studio City, it has spread into adjoining rooms, with more guitars, vocal booths and a much newer iMac. “I’ve come a long way, I think,” says the singer, whose streaming hits include “I’ll Be Good” and the Phoebe Ryan-assisted “We Won’t” on “Feel Something,” his debut full-length album released in June.

You’ve become fascinated with home recording. Are you Alice, disappearing down the rabbit hole?

It’s funny. I always joke about the fact that I’m living in Studio City now, and I’ve been here for almost a year. And there’s a little market across the street, and it’s got all the things I need. So I just walk 20 feet, get everything I need, and then I’m right back in the dungeon. Which is kind of dangerous sometimes.

What market products sustain you?

Well, I’m always tempted by the microwave taquitos you get out of the freezer there. But I try, I really try, to keep the fruits and vegetables handy, because it doesn’t really help if you’re just in the dungeon and not getting any good nutrition. That’s like adding insult to injury.

How do you know when a song is finished?

I think whenever I’m sitting there and I think, “OK, I really don’t know what else I can do with this. I’ve either overdone it or just explored all the options.” Which kind of echoes the old cliché that “It’s never finished, only abandoned.”

The exact opposite of “Too many cooks spoil the broth.”

Yeah. But it might take a little longer with just one cook. I put out a song called “A Few More Minutes,” and the first version actually came out when I was living in Seattle. And even before that version, I had written another, but when I moved down to California I changed the production again. And that’s just one example of how many times I’ll think, “What could I do to make this sound different or better?”

Do you take vitamin D to stave off seasonal affective disorder?

Well, I’m from Seattle, so even when I was outside I probably suffered from that, just because of all the gloom. But when I moved down by L.A., the difference was astonishing – there was 10 times as much sunshine, so I’m actually getting some vitamin D now. It makes a big difference on your overall morale.

Jaymes Young
Where: Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. July 13
Tickets: $15 to $17 (sold out)
Contact: (415) 861-2011, www.eventbrite.com

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