Jake Manzi is a Massachusetts-based singer-songwriter. After years of touring festivals and clubs in the Northeast, Manzi presents his debut full-length record, Whatever My Heart Allows (out May 7). The new record consists of ten dreamy, heartfelt tracks, and features contributions from Grammy winner Don Was, Griffin & Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes), Grammy-nominated guitarist/singer Madison Cunningham, and Mikaela Davis.
Raised in Western Massachusetts, his unique brand of soft rock has earned him significant acclaim, sold-out hometown shows, and opening slots for Lori McKenna, Ryan Montbleau, Chris Collingwood, and more.
Whatever My Heart Allows is a sweetly confessional union of soft rock and indie pop, the story of someone growing towards a deeper understanding of themselves. A laid-back, honest meditation on what it means to let yourself love, even when you’re afraid. With lush, sweeping string arrangements, heartachey pedal steel, vibraphone, and harp, Whatever My Heart Allows reads as a love letter from Manzi to himself – a love letter he didn’t even know he was writing.
Jake Manzi’s love affair with music began early, in a crowded dining room, the table piled high with homemade wine, pasta, and meatballs. Once the food was off the table, and the cannoli and sfogliatelle were out, Jake’s dad, uncles, grandparents, and cousins would pull out the acoustic guitars, and the house would swell with passionate, spirited harmonies late into the night.
Manzi was raised on the music of storytellers: Bruce Springsteen, Randy Newman, Carole King, and NRBQ. Growing up in Northampton, home to Dinosaur Jr, Pixies, and others, there was ample inspiration around. Jake spent countless hours holed up with a Tascam 414 4-track tape machine, recording demos, and chasing a feeling.
Heart is at the center of it all. Recorded at Studio 68 in Williamsburg, MA and produced by Manzi and his longtime bandmate and friend Caleb Rosazza, Whatever My Heart Allows sees the two collaborators at their best: dreaming big and making no compromises. The result is hi-fi, glowing, brightly emotional, and vividly evocative. It makes you want to reminisce at a dive bar, then take the long way home with the top down, feeling the wind in your hair.
Whatever My Heart Allows makes the most of Manzi and Rosazza’s combined treasure trove of vintage instruments and amps, and features Manzi’s beloved ‘59 Silvertone electric guitar. Other contributors from Western MA and Los Angeles include Jacob Rosazza, Ryan Hommel, and Danny Bernini. Dawes drummer Griffin Goldsmith’s gentle, lyrical touch on drums (recorded at Spirithouse Studios in Northampton, MA) underpins it all.
Jake is known for his candid, easy stage presence, the moving stories behind his songs, and lyrics that will break your heart and make it whole again all at once. Whatever My Heart Allows is tender and restrained, brimming with latent pain, but also with hope for salvation. The notion that any lost lover whose bravado is beginning to crack, who’s afraid to show his heart, can be found, can be loved, and can love.
– Kimaya Diggs