J. Luke Cloutier released his second single on March 6 called “Better Man”. After a successful debut with “Drown”, Cloutier is excited to continue down his path of raw, honest lyrics paired with a stunning acoustic sound. J. Luke Cloutier is an indie-folk singer-songwriter with a “style [that] works both classic and contemporary cogs” (B-Sides & Badlands). The songwriter is now taking listeners on his humbling journey of facing life’s challenges with the new song “Better Man”.
“I think a lot of people are ashamed of how they once acted. Better Man was me coming to terms with the fact that I can’t change it, and that all I can do is be better going forward.” – J. Luke Cloutier
Based in Mystic, CT, J. Luke Cloutier is an indie-folk singer-songwriter with a “style [that] works both classic and contemporary cogs” (B-Sides & Badlands). Having played guitar since the young age of six and grown up musically involved in various punk rock bands, Cloutier has finally become comfortable in his own skin releasing music that shares his life stories and experiences. Often compared to bands like The Lumineers and The Head and The Heart, Cloutier’s solo music is a sharp departure from the punk-rock style he grew up on. J. Luke Cloutier sings simply and honestly, captivating audiences with classic folk-pop nuances. Ebbing and flowing between light and heavy musical moods, Cloutier is a chameleon of soundscapes – finding the perfect layers to translate the intimacy behind his lyrics. His slight vocal rasp carries the folk-pop melodies to a place of vulnerability as Cloutier delves into the familiar facets of life through his lyrics. “I don’t care about much else – writing songs brings me immense joy. I’m just looking for the sweetest melody,” says Cloutier.
What is the best and worst about touring?
I think there are so many amazing parts about touring. You get to travel, you get to hang out with your friends, you get to play music every day. I always loved just seeing new places and meeting new people. Touring will be different for me going forward because I’ll be doing a decent amount of tours alone coming up, so I’ll be missing the friendship element of tour. But being alone will also give me the opportunity to really explore places on my terms. I love touring and wish I could do it all the time. The worst part about touring is that I always seem to catch a cold and I don’t know why.
Who inspired you to make music?
The biggest inspiration for me to make music was City and Colour. I remember my junior year of high school, I was sitting in science class one day. The teacher was giving a lesson on some part of chemistry. I didn’t feel like paying attention, so I threw in my headphones and put on City and Colour’s “Sometimes” album. The teacher stopped the lesson and asked me to take out my headphones, and I said I didn’t want to, so I didn’t. It was super disrespectful and I’m not proud of it, but that was the definitive moment where I said “fuck it, I don’t want a normal life. I don’t want a life with chemistry or sitting in lectures, I want to make music.” It was a really defining moment for me. I actually ran into that teacher yesterday and he was super nice to me, which is good. But yeah, City and Colour totally changed my life and set the bar for me as far as what I think a well written song is.
Who are you listening to these days?
I’ve been listening to Courtney Marie Andrews a bunch lately. I love her songwriting and how the production on her songs is often so simple, yet so complete sounding. I’ve been really into Deftones lately, specifically the “Saturday Night Wrist” record. I just love the mix on it and I love how the chords they choose to use sound so big. I’ve also been really into the band Give. They’re a hardcore band from DC. I love hardcore, and I think Give is a criminally underrated band. I think that every part the write just hits perfectly. They’re one of the few bands that when I listen, it really gets me pumped up. They have a record called “Singles Going Confetti” that I listen to pretty often.
What are you working on right now?
Right now I am booking a handful of tours to promote the two singles I just released. I’m also finishing writing for a full length. I’ve started passing demos around with some friends and collaborators. I’ll be recording this May and putting finishing touches on the record through the summer.
What is your relationship like with Instagram and how does it play a role in your music career?
I probably care about Instagram less than I should. I think it’s fun to post cool pictures, and I love having a platform where I can talk about my craft. I’m proud of the songs that I write, so I like sharing them with the people that follow me. I do think that a lot of musicians put too much into their Instagram. I’ve seen a lot of people who have a music Instagram where they’re trying to get followers, but have no recorded music and haven’t played a show. It seems backwards to me. It’s not totally the fault of musicians either. Industry people pass over great music all the time to seek out people with an internet following. My motto is that my Instagram account exists, and I’m going to use it, but it will never be my focus. Like all platforms, Instagram will someday become obsolete, and all of the people who have spent years building up an Instagram following will be hurting. I am going to try and write great songs, and if people like them, they’ll follow me online. But I want my songs to resonate with people more than my aesthetic.