Artist Interview: Jasper Boogaard of Nagasaki Swim

Posted: by The Editor

On Everything Grows, the sophomore LP from Dutch indie rockers Nagasaki Swim, everything really does seem to grow. These are songs that build and expand and mature at their own pace, nine tracks of lush, folk-inflected bliss. As Aaron Eisenreich wrote in this week’s roundup, “Jasper Boogaard’s light and unobtrusive vocal melodies seem to naturally find their space amidst the steady acoustic strumming and tasteful interjections from gorgeous string arrangements, tasteful trumpet lines, and warm, sprawling lap steel.” It’s a tender record for tender times, mornings on the porch at dawn or late night walks. We caught up with frontman Boogaard to discuss Everything Grows, which dropped last week.

Everything Grows is more than just a title for this record–it’s become a sort of mantra for Nagasaki Swim. What’s it mean to you?
At first, it was just the song, and I quite quickly realized it made for a good album title. The song definitely encapsulates what it means, but as time passed by the phrase started popping up in situations regularly. Everything Grows means to me that the days wasted on tinkering and thinking are invaluable to the process of making art and getting to the next place in your life. Making this record was quite the struggle, and that mindset helped me deal with that: it’s okay to be not productive for a while, it’s okay to have an off day, ’cause those moments are also part of growth.
The art for The Mirror and the “The Weight Pt. II” single both were very different from the Everything Grows cover and the other singles. What is behind the art direction for this record?
For The Mirror and “The Weight Pt. II” we worked with Nick Corbo (of LVL UP/Spirit Was). I am a huge fan of his music and art style so working together on those illustrations was amazing. But as we entered a new musical era I wanted something new visually as well. For all the artwork we went to de Veluwe with photographer Cheong Park. It’s a beautiful place in the Netherlands that I have fond memories of, and it’s a very specific type of landscape. I like how open the landscape feels, which is kind of how I feel about the record too. On the back of the vinyl/cd we have this image where new trees emerge from a landscape of dead trees: everything grows.
What do you want your ideal listener to get out of Everything Grows?
In many ways these songs are about trying, failing, getting up, and trying again. I hope people who can relate can find some kind of comfort in these songs. And I hope they can find comfort in those words too. Looking outside, spring is starting to show its first signs around here and to me that always has an impact on my personal mindset. I hope this record can help people find the beauty in that.
What moments on the record make you proudest?
This album is the most collaborative thing I ever made. Both from all the fantastic musicians, to having people making beautiful videos, photography, liner notes…. Although Nagasaki Swim is my personal project, this record feels like an exercise in collaboration. I got better at not trying to control everything, and having people contribute their parts in their own unique way. I hope they feel like these songs are a part of them too.
What can Nagasaki Swim fans expect from the band for the rest of ’23?
We’re playing a couple of really cool shows in the Netherlands, with my highlight being Motel Mozaïque where we play with an extended band (7 people) in a great lineup amongst Big Thief, Black Country, New Road, and Ichiko Aoba. We’re working on some shows in the UK and I also have a couple of tunes left on my hard drive that I recorded at Headroom Philadelphia last year.
Everything Grows is out now.


Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

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