For Jackson Tarricone, making music also means making the best out of newfound time at home. Despite the challenges of leaving school, the sophomore was able to find positivity in quarantine through finishing his first solo album, “Doesn’t Matter 3”. The project, which Tarricone started in November of 2018, was released on Monday, April 20. It can be found on Spotify, Bandcamp and SoundCloud.
This album is a new musical landmark for Tarricone, who has been making music since he was 10-years-old. With lively guitar and catchy vocal hooks, the record’s 11 tracks tie together many threads in Tarricone’s life.
Much of Tarricone’s musical style, including Doesn’t Matter 3, was shaped by the people in his life. Tarricone’s cousin was the first to recommend that he listen to Weezer, one of the bands that would eventually inspire the “power pop” sound of the album. Meanwhile, Tarricone’s bandmates introduced him to Ben Kweller and Liz Phair, whose vocals and themes would influence the formation of later tracks. Perhaps the most important catalyst for creation was artist Elliot Smith and his album “Figure 8”, recommended to Tarricone by his childhood guitar teacher.
“That album is the reason I make music,” Tarricone said. “It’s emotive and personable, and it pays homage to the monumental artists of the 60s without being entirely derivative of that music. Those are common threads in a lot of the work that inspires my sound.”
Tarricone attributed much of the recent development of his personal sound to Greg Gibaldi, the guitar teacher who originally introduced Tarricone to many of his favorite bands. After a recent reconnection with Gibaldi, the two worked together to mix and master the album.
“Part of the reason why the tracks work so well with Greg’s production is because he formed my musical tastes,” Tarricone said. “He always takes the songs to the next level, whether it’s by putting distortion on the bass or adding an 8-bit compressor to the drums for a ‘drop’ of sorts.”
The music of “Doesn’t Matter 3” is distinguished by simple song structures, accessible tones and rock instrumentals. Tarricone defines the album’s genre as “power pop,” or “radio friendly pop played with the gusto of indie rock.” Despite its fun sound, however, the album explores more somber themes.
“A lot of the album is like a stream of consciousness,” Tarricone said. “While the songs can make you laugh, they also delve into themes of rejection, inaction and regret. I still relate to it, and I hope that others will be able to resonate with it. I want people to get the same sense of personability and connection that I do when listening to my favorite music.”
Tarricone mentioned that the album’s title explains much of its message. The record is thematically focused on the third stage of life. This stage, Tarricone says, includes realizations about life’s impermanence, epiphanies about time and the development of an initial perception of self. Tarricone wrote about these themes in relation to his own life experience, at times including anecdotes and jokes from his own life.
Alongside thoughtful lyrics and messages, “Doesn’t Matter 3”shows significant sonic maturity. The sophistication of Tarricone’s music is especially impressive given the resources at his disposal. Tarricone does vocals with a $50 USB microphone, while recording guitar and bass through a small interface. Much of the writing, playing and production of his music occurs throughout the school year, during which he makes time for regular practice and creation amongst his classes.
“Doesn’t Matter 3” is in some ways a summation of the musical experiences of Tarricone’s life. The album serves as evidence of his maturity as an artist since his first release on Spotify during his senior year of high school.
However, the project is by no means an end. Tarricone said he hopes to eventually develop a band as a vehicle for his music, and he remains focused on writing more songs, improving his production and gathering more musical influences for his sound.
Outside of “Doesn’t Matter 3”, Tarricone will also soon join Long Island band ADULTS as a bass player. He hopes that these upcoming musical experiences will allow his next project to feature an even more refined sound and reflect a new period in his life. In the end, he’s happy to enjoy what is to come.
“Ultimately, I’m just happy to be making music,” Tarricone said. “That’s enough for me.”