Jakobs Castle, the passion project of magnetic artist Jakob Nowell (son of late Sublime vocalist Bradley Nowell), is proud to announce their signing to the legendary Epitaph Records. Born into music royalty, there is no denying that Jakob is influenced by his father’s legacy, but Jakobs Castle is anything but a nostalgic rehash. Staying cutting-edge while retaining the keen sense of melody that endeared his father’s music to millions of people all over the world, Nowell’s mission for the band is to “mix California’s past with the fresh mystery of internet underground culture.”
The breezy label debut single ‘Time Traveler’ was co-written by Tim Armstrong (Rancid, Operation Ivy), employing bright guitars, electronic flourishes, and vocals that illustrate Nowell’s impressive range. With the addition of subtle pitch shifts and synth bass from producer Jon Joseph (Børns), it transformed into a soulful, catchy, rocksteady song with new-age pop influences.
On his label debut, Jakob comments: “‘Time Traveler’ is close to my heart because it’s the song that led me to signing with Epitaph. The song was born from a writing session between myself and Tim Armstrong. He had this hook that to my ears was so irresistibly catchy and inspiring that I added the verses in no time at all (pun intended). The song we came up with had an old school rocksteady vibe and I took it to my producer Jon Joseph to experiment with it. I wanted to merge the vintage feel and songwriting of Tim with the modern mysteriousness of underground bedroom production. The result is something more than the sum of its parts. Both thematically and sonically I want this song to take people on a little journey through time.”
The 28-year-old Nowell got his start playing in the popular Southern California rock act LAW, but Jakobs Castle is an unfiltered version of his personal musical identity which he created alongside producer and co-collaborator Jon Joseph. “I think that Jon was the guy who really helped me discover my sound because I would show him the synth sounds I wanted or what I liked for vocal effects and it became this affected cyber ska weirdness,” Nowell explains.
Signing to Epitaph is a full circle moment for the musician born into the thriving California punk scene, yet deciding to forge his own musical destiny in a way that’s relevant to today’s generation of listeners. “The tagline I’ve always had for this project is beach meets the internet,” Jakob summarizes. “Once you swim in these songs for a while, that description makes perfect sense.”