Pious Youth is the heavy, dreary experimental music passion project of Hamilton native, Jack Walker. Since 2015, the electronic shoegaze artist has constructed his own home studio, released four EPs and one full-length project titled Bouquet.
After breaking off from group projects, Walker decided to strike out on his own, incorporating his musical idols, favourite movies and personal poems into his haunting production.
“I had been making music before Pious Youth but it was mainly instrumental. I had been trying to form a band but then I realized that the musical direction I wanted to go in was individual. What stopped me from pursuing music before was that I never thought I could be a vocalist. I came to realize that imperfections in vocals make an artist unique,” said Walker.
Walker’s introduction to experimental music began while he was still in high school. Shoegaze was one of the new genres that he had discovered at the time.
The discovery of the genre sparked his interest in starting a band of his own and to experiment with distorted instrumentals.
“What got me interested in the shoegaze genre were bands like My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive and particularly the album Souvlaki. This was my first introduction to alternative psychedelic rock music,” explained Walker.
Walker then went on to release his first EP as Pious Youth titled Transcendence, where he combined his prior influences with the popular sound of the underground European electronic music scene.
He then incorporated aggressive punk-rock vocals and instrumentation to his most recent EP Altar Boy to further individualize his sound.
“The British musician called Genesis P-Orridge has been the biggest influence when creating music for Pious Youth. During the late 1970s, he was one of the first musicians to begin creating experimental electronic music that was revolt and rebellious without using a guitar, bass or drums.”
Pious Youth uses samples from films by Jean Luc Godard and David Lynch, as well as sampled fills from his favourite electronic music tracks.
Recently he has created a home recording studio and a platform for whenever he is inspired to write music.
Using Ableton Live along with analog synths and Virtual Studio Technology, he created the singles “Bloom” and “Cherry Blossom”.
The DIY home studio project was just another crucial step in which Walker devote himself to this single musical project. It is a kind of devotion that Walker considers to be religious, hence the name Pious Youth.
“I saw people who seemed to have everything figured out in their life and that were so devoted to their craft. This inspired me to become committed to the interests that I had and Pious Youth represented this new chapter in my life,” explained Walker.
Having grown up in Hamilton, Walker has spent many of his years in youth immersing himself within local bands and performing in venues such as the Casbah and Baltimore House.
“Hamilton is an awesome city if you are looking for content… It is very accepting for all different genres of music. The city even has a noise scene and is a great place to find yourself as an artist. The music scene is underrated,” said Walker.
In just two years, Walker has created a deeply personal outlet of self-expression and released a tremendous amount of creative content.
In 2017, he will be taking a break from playing live shows and will be heading back to the studio to create a new aesthetic and explore a more danceable, EDM-inspired approach to Pious Youth.