Artist Interview: “the world is ending and i love u” by Jack Goldstein

Hyperpop artist Jack Goldstein has released his latest album, “the world is ending and i love u” on indie label, Beanie Tapes. At its core, the album is about universal subjects such as love and hope. Goldstein talked to PopFad about what influences his music, his musical style and more.

Q: Some of the common threads on this album are as universal as love and hope. Were you influenced in any way by global issues to commit to a unifying message behind this album?

JACK GOLDSTEIN: 

In a sense. I mean, for me, the personal is political. All of the personal themes on the album are always going to be set into the framework of the world they exist in. Everyone always talks about the universality of love, but I’m not so sure it’s that universal, or, at least, not as ubiquitous as we hope. 

Just look at what’s happening in America right now with abortion rights. I hate all of this liberal, centrist bull—- about trying to understand differences of opinion and find common ground amidst our differences. Some human beings are just complete f—ing —holes, who are fueled by despotic individualism. In my opinion, we don’t try and understand these people, we fight them. In that sense, love is a beautiful, beautiful weapon. 

When I sing about love, I’m sometimes singing about a few kinds of love. There’s plenty of times I’m trying to get that feeling of ceaseless romance that pop culture tells us is 100% real and I love fighting for it. But, then I’m also singing a lot about a more Marxist, Frommian construct of love that is rooted in love being about care, responsibility, respect and knowledge. 

Q: On that note, in the current state of world, do you think music has any power to motivate people to action on social and global issues?

GOLDSTEIN: 

Yeah. I think it can. I definitely think we should all fight for that. It’s not always as black and white as ‘this music is political music’ or ‘this music is motivating people to action’. 

I watched the Taylor Swift film she made about herself a while back. I kind of liked it. It was a classic example of a pop star wanting to self-eulogize, so that other people are literally told what this artist is about by the artist themselves. The first half was, essentially, ‘I’m a serious songwriter,’ which obviously she is, but, she clearly feels she has to continue to reassert this point because of, among other things, unbridled misogyny and the second half was ‘I’m politically active’.  

The film was pure propaganda for how Taylor Swift wants everyone to see her. So, I guess, in that sense, its intent wasn’t exactly pure of heart. However, the other side of the argument is that Taylor Swift has so many young fans who would have watched that film and may have been introduced to some important and insightful political concepts for the very first time. That’s a really, really good thing in my opinion. Pop can be a really great force for political awareness and, hopefully, action as well.  

I think artists have a responsibility to, at the very least, consider how their music might be perceived and utilized. Any musician that feels the need to explicitly announce they are not a political artist is, essentially, just saying they’re a right wing artist, in my opinion. I don’t think any of my own music is explicitly political to the extent where you could discern any big political message from it, at face value. But, I still think it’s been considered and cultivated with my personal politics in mind. Artists should be sensitive of that. I mean, I’m sure the people who wrote the Barney The Dinosaur theme tune weren’t considering its political implications, but, that didn’t stop the U.S. government weaponizing it and using it as an instrument of torture and interrogation in Guantanamo Bay.

Q: “SAILIN” is such a deep, soulful cut and “dreams” is a mad, hyperpop sprint. Where do you think the sweet spot is for you as an artist?

GOLDSTEIN: I don’t know really. I just tell people to listen to the music and see if they like it. I always reference The Beach Boys and Brian Wilson whenever people ask me about my music. But, I guess that’s just because I think that deep underneath the surface of every track I’ve ever made there’s some of their influence in there somewhere.

Q: If I were to recommend your music to a friend, how would I describe it to them in an elevator pitch (30 seconds or less)?

GOLDSTEIN: Heartfelt/non-cynical Hyperpop/Emo/Powerpop.

Q: In addition to streaming, the album is going to be available as a limited edition, cassette tape via Beanie Tapes. Why did you decide offer up an analog option?

GOLDSTEIN: I’ve always loved cassettes. I love how the more you listen to them, the more they deteriorate and the sound changes. That happens with cassette quicker than any other format. I guess that’s why they went out of fashion.  

Interviewed by Travis Boyer

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