Letters of Last Resort

by Jack James

supported by
  • Compact Disc (CD)

    Physically own Letters of Last Resort, with unique and personalised packaging. The achingly classic Compact Disc comes in a lovingly-crafted 6-panel digipak cardboard case, beautifully slipped into a brown fleck 120gsm thick recycled vegan gluten-free envelope, with your fine name and gorgeous address printed in jet cobalt black ink. Affixed with a stalwart bright red 1st Class stamp, the package is then hand-placed into a traditional British postbox.

    (Personalised artisanal envelope subject to availability and the whim of an unstable printer that has a predilection for swallowing envelopes and vomiting black ink about, like an ineffectual octopus. (Actually that would probably be an effectual octopus, but an ineffectual printer.))

    Includes unlimited streaming of Letters of Last Resort via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 3 days
    edition of 50 

     £10 GBP or more


  • Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

     £7 GBP  or more




Released: 7th July 2015
Written: Mostly in 2014
Recorded: Mostly in Feb-March 2015
Location: Glasgow, Scotland, UK

All songs written and recorded by Jack James

Jack James – Mostly instruments
Gavin Crawford – Drums


“We fear change.” - Garth Algar, Wayne’s World (1992)

Being philosophical for a moment, we could interpret this quote as applying to humans in general, because let’s be real; we fear change. And this album is all change. The acoustic guitar is limited, there is no anatomical drawing and hey, is that a Hammond organ I hear? By logical induction we should fear this album because we're human. But change can be good, Barack Obama was elected based on this very notion.

So, this is Jack James' last resort. The titular letters being referenced are written by every incoming British Prime Minister since the 1950s. In the event that the UK is destroyed, they give standing orders to the British navy's nuclear submarine fleet. And current Jack James fans could take from this album that the artist they knew has been destroyed, so it is now up to them how they wish to react; love it, hate it or fire a thermonuclear weapon at it.

Call of the Void sets the scene, a natural indie-rock extension of previous albums, adding significant prominence to the electric guitar, bass and organ while maintaining the strong lyrical themes and structures. After Hours is a melody driven at nearly constant momentum, again retaining the familiar elements while filling out the instrumentals beyond the scope of any previous work. Phone Number is the catchiest song on the album, a prime example of the finely struck balance between the folk and rock elements, invoking other artists who successfully found that middle ground such as Elliott Smith, Cat Power or Plants and Animals.

So there it is; Jack James went electric, by which I mean there's a Telecaster and Hammond on the album. It's not a completely bizarre new direction, like launching a hip-hop alter-ego or something, but by the standards of a man who has released 5 albums of almost entirely folk music, it's a bold progressive step forward.


released 07 July 2015




feeds for this album, this artist


Jack James Glasgow

Jack James



contact / help

Contact Jack James

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Track Name: Call of the Void
Over there waiting for you
The call of the void, the derring-do
The chance to do things right
Then you find your old writings on the floor
Incomprehensible notes are scattered, tossed and torn
And you force them back through your front door
And the postman removes them from your home

Here on an island of stone
And I was alone, whereas you didn't know
And I would have stayed
Secure in the choices that we made
And you thought a letter was brave

Resolve it all by turning you down
A fixture away, playing outside of town
Another life
Oh for what I would not give
There are too many lives to live
Track Name: After Hours
Oh my god, it's after dark
It's after hours
10 million voices all on you
They're not amused about what you put them through
Their points of view all scream of truth
Of how you used them as a stand-in crew

Taking turns, to knock you out
To turn you up, from the sideways round
A stream of hands drips into your mouth
Rainfall north to south, slowly dissolves your house
You no longer stand, there is no room
There is no floor, you're lying on the door

Said some things that I regret
Tried to talk some sense, said things I had not meant
We should be screaming for our lives
Don't seem to have that side
We're both too nice to fight
Track Name: Taking a Dive
I could tell from a look
Who you were wrote all on your face
Played a card from my book
You knew it from a mile away

We almost played
A lifetime game
Backs to the shore
Fall overboard

Were you taking a dive, were you taking a dive?
Well so was I

Put a hole in the leaf
Didn't care how new it was
Tried to hide our relief
The fix was out and we were in luck

Disrupt the flow
Taking back what's old
Back to the door
On the count of four

Were you taking a dive, were you taking a dive?
Well so was I
Track Name: Your Side Is Strong
Face down, turn away from the ground
Dial 999, just dial all the 9s
Are you on your own? Are we not all alone really?

Look how far we've trekked with money no object
Lift the dead man's switch, you have a Dead Hand death-wish
Is everything OK? Don't stop giving me the OK

Your side is strong

Taxi called but didn't state a destination
Pick up point Burger King side of Queen Street Station
Is this a set fare, should settle all my affairs now

Your side is strong
Track Name: Your Turn
As you fall down traps
Pack your holiday clothes
They say your membership lapsed
Join the club, the one where everyone goes

It's your turn to go
Don't try to breathe
As you turn to go
You find you can't leave

The ground kick brings you back
Dropped the snare down the rabbit hole
You're wondering how long is the slack
I am still there, you I don't know...

It's your turn to go
Don't try to breathe
As you turn to go
You find you can't leave
Track Name: Please Tell Me That Is Not What You See
Favours to buy
Where do your allegiances lie?
Playing games with a name
Probably not survive

A life to segment
Wondering where your other half went
Flip the coin
See the heads and the tails join

Please tell me that is not what you see

You figured out, that no one has it figured out
You fell down and that made you proud
Muddied your clothes, and you're hoping no one knows
Revealed some truth, but they thought it a joke

Please tell me that is not what you see
Track Name: Phone Number
Where were you when you said you would be by the phone?
I hung up as it rang out no one left to call
My phone died and your mobile number went with it
I've not had to know numbers since I was a kid

I knew your landline before you switched from BT
Year's '97, 0141 563...
I head up to the High Street, find a public phone
Press redial, still no answer, the whole town's not home

I drove round to your parents' house, stopped outside it
You don't live there now but it's where you used to live
I back away and turn just as the curtains twitch
I heard you're mainstream now, I'm headed towards the ditch

Remember when you said you could convince the world?
You had such a strong voice for such a little girl
Now you've left town, you took your act on the road
Now I don't even know your area code
Track Name: It's All Down To You
Dark lines under your eyes
Fast mind, mouth that can't keep up
It's all down to you
It's all up to you, too
Ha ha

Dream live, when you are outside
Straight lines, all silver, they correlate
That much is true
Yes and the sky is blue, too
Ha ha

If you really want to do your worst to try your best
Be my guest

Family home, you're not alone
Stones throw from the apple tree
And it's all down to you
It's all up to you, too
Ha ha

If you really want to do your worst to try your best
Be my guest
Track Name: Surprise, So Strange
Why'd they make surprise so strange?
I could say goodbyes all day
They don't seem to affect me at all

Tread the room softly 'cause
This afternoon we lost our faults
They were scaled down by much larger thoughts

You force the spool, finger rewind
You turn the tape around
Your splicing tricks exposed as proof
Of tampering with your mind
Oh, tampering with your mind

Go back in time, you keep your mind
In the school line you cross divide
As they find you coursing through old halls

Slide the track along the ground
Wound up wrong move back inside
Perceptual magic you've turned it upside down

You lost a section, that's how this works
Survive the edit test
The razor cuts down all the mess
The simplest cut is best
Oh, the simplest the best

Construct a thought, you float one out
Dangles on a threaded string
What will you do, when you have, nothing left to bring?
Track Name: Newfound Gold
Dive until you settle down; there, there...
Go on down I'll meet you there
You expect me to change your mind, no
I don't even care

I've been onto newfound gold
I've been wondering what you're told
I've been onto newfound gold
I've been wondering what you know

Bite the hand that feeds your mouth
Wonder why we went south
Would rather wait than ask for more
Find out who you're writing for

I've been onto newfound gold
I've been wondering what you're told
I've been onto newfound gold
I've been wondering what you know
Track Name: White Presents
Took some coins, and I took them away
All white string, all wrapped in paper

And I know that only thoughts count to you
All my actions, well I made them for you

Plastic card and I spelt my name wrong
Callous thoughts, but I thought they were strong

You can only get so far with you
And I thought that it was so far so good
Track Name: Driving Down
Tell lies with your mouth
Smile and nod
Curl your lips upwards against your thoughts

Your mind went south
And the weather turned to fog

Wake up, you're not lost
Automaticity kicked in
The main road took you home

And you saw me in that state
Subconsciously awake

Did you see me driving down?
Did you see me driving down?

Read your way out of thoughts
Try to suppress them they just multiply

Momentum's tough to stop
The memories in your muscles be stronger than they ought

That camera caught your face
They can limit your speed but they can't change your state

Did you see me driving down?
Did you see me driving down?