THE rise of south-west singer-songwriter Jackson McLaren is the modern music equivalent of a fairy tale.
As a teenager five or six years ago, McLaren was “discovered” while supporting chart-topping artist Josh Pyke at a gig in Warrnambool and whisked away to sign a management deal and recording contract.
It’s fitting that he returns to the same venue at The Loft on Saturday to demonstrate how far he’s come.
The solo gig is part of a quick Victorian tour McLaren is headlining to promote his debut album Songs To Greet The Dawn.
He said he hoped a full band tour would happen later in the year, giving audiences the opportunity to hear songs closer to the album sound.
But in the meantime he’s just been enjoying getting out there on the road.
“I haven’t done many headlining tours and they’re a bit scary because you’re not sure anyone’s going to turn up (but) there’s been some good crowds,” McLaren said.
He’s also hoping to get his name on some of the coming festivals, saying his management was putting its “hands up for everything”.
But whatever happens, McLaren said he’s just enjoying writing songs, playing shows, and meeting the people who have been listening to his record.
“I’ve had a lot of people come up to me and say ‘I really like your album and I don’t often listen to albums all the way through but I did to yours’,” he laughed.
“That’s a huge compliment — for someone to say ‘I gave you 40 minutes of my time to listen to your record’. I’m so keen to get back into the studio.
“I’m writing a lot more than usual. The songs have just been coming naturally and easily and it’s probably because I don’t feel pressured because I don’t have to write another album yet.
“But I’m doing it anyway because I enjoy it.”
While he’s in the south-west McLaren will take the opportunity to reteam with long-time friend and film clip director Brooke Altmann to shoot a video for his next single Gold Turns To Green. Altmann shot the clip for his song Here’s A Memory.
“When I first saw it I was blown away,” he said of the clip for Here’s A Memory.
“So we thought it would be cool to make another one while we’re down in Warrnambool, using little clips of the coastline and the landscapes and familiar faces.”
Jackson McLaren performs at The Loft in Warrnambool on Saturday night, with support from Soda Eaves, Sam Wright and Ciaran Toomey.