The video for the first single off of "Smart, Phone!", a cover of "(Get You Kicks on) Route 66."

Jake Eddy’s ‘Smart, Phone!’ and the Beauty of the Things in Our Pockets

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Did you know that your iPhone has the capability to record an entire multi-genre album?

Perhaps you didn’t, but West-Virginia based teenager and accomplished musician Jake Eddy did. In fact, earlier this year, he took his little pocket computer and did just that. Due out April 21 on Merf Records, the album is entitled Smart, Phone!

The album covers a wide musical territory – spanning from original works in a variety of styles to covers of the 1946 Bobby Troup rhythm and blues standard “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66” and Gil Scott Heron’s “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.”

“I was just sitting in my room one day, and I was looking at Garage Band, and I hadn’t used the app since I was maybe 10 or 12, and I decided to check it out to see how they had developed it,” said Eddy. “When I was messing around with it, I realized how much potential it had.”

Eddy, who is also half of alternative country duo Steve Hussey and Jake Eddy, is fresh off of the successful release of that outfit’s The Miller Girl, an album that pulls from sonic families akin to early Wilco and Loose Fur. Smart, Phone! is an amalgamation of many musical traditions, and Eddy expressed that he is aware that it might not be what his fan were expecting, although he believes it will be something they will enjoy.

17-year-old musician Jake Eddy. (
17-year-old musician Jake Eddy. (

“I believe that as a creator, you should make something for your fans and then do one for yourself. This album is for me,” said Eddy. “Technology is advancing all the time, and a lot of times people are just recording music the same way they have been doing forever. There are a lot more ways to do this than in just a traditional setting.”

Eddy said that in the writing of the album, there was no score paper involved – that most of it hatched within the confines of his noggin and manifested simply on his phone.

“I’m a big fan of musicians like Thundercat, who are really more like producers,” said Eddy, who likened the process of making the album to the creative processes adopted by such artists. “You just sort of have a loop and you have to start from square one.”

Although the album is certainly listenable in the same way that any pop music type album would be, Eddy likened it to a sort of experimental record in some aspects of its development.

“I hate the disconnect people have with the things around them – the things that they take for granted, all the capabilities that those things have,” he said. “It goes for cell phones and everything else. Everyday people stuff a Big Mac in their mouth and they don’t think about how it’s keeping them alive. It would be so beneficial for people to stop and think about the things that they have – to think about what they would do without their cell phone. This whole album is an exploration of what technology can be in the hands of a creative as opposed to me just putting out another album.”