Denver’s own Jeff Cormack (known by his moniker South of France) is back to deliver his new single “Sidewalk”; a light-hearted, leisure-trip designed to deliver a “mental vacation”.
South of France is truly a one-man-band, taking on everything from vocals to production in order to leave his stamp on the music. This is something you don’t always see from a band; however, Cormack sticks to what works. I’d also say “works” is an understatement…. and I’m not the only one who agrees. He’s received support and shared stages from acts such as Portugal. The Man, The Flaming Lips, and Jimmy Eat World. Quite the company to be associated with.
“Sidewalk” is the last single to released until SOF’s full-length album Remember That Cool Thing We Did drops. The album also is home to “Comme Ça”, which was featured on the Season 6 premier of hit TV show Bojack Horeman. The track has since sky-rocketed, amassing over 800,000 streams on Spotify alone. He looks to build on this momentum with “Sidewalk”.
Deviate: Jeff Cormack… welcome man! Great to have you at Deviate.
South of France: Thank you! Very much appreciated, and very lovely to chat with you.
Deviate: How’s your week going?
South of France: No complaints here. Just riding out the pandemic and trying to keep things as fun as possible here at home with my fam.
Deviate: I’m a big Bojack Horseman fan… so finding out your track “Comme Ça” was the backdrop for his rehab scene in the final season was awesome. How did your track find it’s way on the show?
South of France: Thanks so much! This was really cool. That show is so great. The music they include is some of my absolute favorite, and I was super flattered that the music supervisor chose my track. It was also a really great confidence booster for me to get a nod of approval from someone like that with a reputation for good critical taste. I was like, “Eh, ok. I’m headed in the right direction with these songs. I think people might actually like them…” The Bojack fans have been incredible as well.
Deviate: On the topic of being associated with other projects, you’ve shared the stage with Portugal. The Man, The Flaming Lips, and Jimmy Eat World. What were these experiences like?
South of France: Those are some of the best experiences. That’s when all of the hard work, time spent alone at the computer with instruments, over-analyzing every sonic decision etc. pays off. I’m a life-long student of music and people. For me, there’s nothing better than watching, chatting with and learning from people who are doing great work. There’s a camaraderie in songwriting, producing, and performing that establishes a unique point of connection… You know… Just like any industry, there’s a conversation that I can only have with other writers/producers. It’s especially cool when you really admire the work that brings everyone together at shows like this. These bands are incredible live. Their songs are incredible. It’s an inspiring environment, and the fans are an amazing part of that experience as well. Years and years of hard work involving so many people go into creating a successful show and it’s an awesome thing to be a part of.
Deviate: Talk about your upcoming single “Sidewalk”. What message do you want listeners to walk away with?
South of France: Sidewalk is just a fun love jam. I’ve always wanted to make a love song that sits in the same sonic sphere as Electric Feel by MGMT, or some of the Devandra Banhart love jams. Easygoing, groovy, carefree, and fun.
Deviate: I know you’ve described “Sidewalk” as working to “deliver a mental vacation.” I love it… in your words, what do you mean by this?
South of France: Well… This year has been incredibly heavy. Specifically for music and the music industry. We’ve all had to wrestle with a ton of existential issues and dramatically reconfigure our lives. This song is sort of like the “Hey, let’s worry about that stuff in a few. For now, let’s dance to this silly love song and feel good for a bit.” A sweet melody paired with some electric guitar, bass and drums can be a therapeutic experience. Ha!
Deviate: I understand you called on longtime drummer Nate Barnes to help out with the track. Can you explain your relationship with Nate?
South of France: Maaannn… I love Nate! We’ve been friends and collaborators for years. I’ve been working in music for who knows how long now and Nate is a true master of his craft. In my “Top 3” of most talented people I’ve worked with or even watched live. The only way to describe his drumming is that it’s incredibly melodic and it somehow makes me feel more confident about the music. I’ll write the drum parts by either playing them roughly or programming them, and then he takes what I wrote/recorded and plays it almost the same but with so much more vibe and feel. It’s an absolute treat to have him on a track and I try to get him on as many tracks as I can.
Deviate: What else can we look forward to from South of France in the coming year?
South of France: Hopefully a ton! I’m releasing an album, Remember That Cool Thing We Did, which will be released on Feb 26th via my label, Staycation Records. It’s been a long process with this one and I’m really excited to release it. I think the songs are really strong. It’s a big 14-track album that I worked incredibly hard on. I’ve also started working with an entirely new team (management, etc.) that I’m very excited about, and I’ve assembled the best version of the live band that I’ve ever had with my local dudes Greg and Travis. Our live show is really great now. I’ve never been able to say that about this band. Hopefully this means a ton of live shows? Either way, I’m writing better than ever and have been working on some really cool new songs with some incredibly prolific writers/producers. For years I sort of let the bad advice of others around me hold me back, and now some of the most talented artists and producers I’ve admired throughout my life are coming to me for my writing, production, and sound design. It’s surreal. Therefore, most importantly, you can look forward to confidence and more music from this point on. Here’s to a ton of good times, great songs and hard work ahead!
Deviate: What inanimate object embodies you the most?
South of France: An old Land Rover. They break regularly, they are persnickety, and they require a special type of attention, but they last forever, get the job done, and have subtle, disheveled and rugged class
Great getting to know Jeff on a deeper level. A true student of the craft and lover of all things music. I’d like to thank him for taking the time to speak with us and for creating such a great record in “Sidewalk”!