Guest Playlist: Jack Botts gives us 10 songs for road-tripping in the van

Jack Botts

Indie-folk singer/songwriter Jack Botts has just dropped his third EP, the fabulous Slow Mornings. It’s been a meteoric rise for the artist, who only a few years ago was a carpenter and part-time busker.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Botts has continued live shows and touring in his van. Selling out venues such as the Northcote Social Club, and supporting the likes of Tash Sultana, Ocean Alley and many more, has kept him busy and increasingly in demand.

The EP is a collection of songs that map the challenges Botts has found in the last year or so, as he explains: “This EP is a collection of tracks that represent a pretty crazy point in my life, and career. All the ups and downs of balancing a long-distance relationship with work. It talks about all the moments when you want to throw the towel in and give up, to the realisation that giving up just isn’t an option, despite the heartache,”


To celebrate the release of Slow Mornings, and in recognition of the time spent on the road touring the country, Jack has put together a playlist of us for songs that are just purpose-made for those trips in the van. Press <Play>, take a listen and read on.


Mt. Joy “Silver Lining”

I first heard this tune when I was in lockdown with my girlfriend and her housemates in Canada. We were living in an apartment in Kelowna and her friend Nat kept playing this song almost everyday. As the days slowly became warmer and restrictions eased, we started heading out on a few more day trips and drives and this song became a bit of an anthem for me throughout the trip. Eventually when I got home to Australia and started touring again, it was always at the top of my playlist (along with pretty much all their other ones). ‘Scream at the top of your lungs with your mate and windows down’ kinda vibe! Haha.

The California Honeydrops  “When It Was Wrong”

In 2019, my mate Felipe came back from a festival and was like “you need to hear this”. Big jazz/bluesy, New Orleans vibe and some horn sections. When Felipe and I went back on tour together, it became the soundtrack to our road trips. Try wiping the smiles off our faces.

John Mayer “Queen of California”

John Mayer has been one of my favourite artists for a long time now, and this track quickly became one of the most listenable songs for me. There’s never a time where I don’t want to listen to this.

Faces “Ooh La La”

I remember driving with our photographer Kieran down the south coast of Victoria. It was summer, about 40 degrees with the clearest skies and we were belting this song at the top of our lungs. Huge fan of the acoustic playing in this track and simple percussion. This track has inspired some of my more recent writing.

Jack River “Confess”

Jack River is one of my favourite Aussie acts. This is another track that’s been in my playlist for a few years. This track is full of so many melodies and epic build ups and choruses that are so nice to drive to. Jack’s writing and melodies have a sense of ‘freedom’ about them. Big coastal, sunset drive banger!

Earl St. Clair “Feeling Alive”

BIG FUNK! This track always manages to get the shoulders bouncing. Super catchy bass line and melodies. Inspiring lyrics relating to taking leaps and being a bit more open to all the awesome things life has to offer. Plenty of jams and boogies have come alive from this track. Definitely windows down for this one.

Jack Johnson “Broken”

Probably one of the most influential songs on my music and writing. This track has been in my playlist for years and has never left. I remember hearing the lyric “I didn’t know what I was looking for, so, I didn’t know what I’d find” and it has stuck with me all throughout my travels and career. It made me realise that it’s ok to not always have a plan, because something even greater might come out of it.

Led Zeppelin “Rock and Roll”

I feel like it wouldn’t be a road trip without Led Zep! This one has legendary riffs and huge, shredding solos. It reminds me of that moment when you’ve been stuck in traffic for an hour, and have been crawling down the highway doing 40km/h, and then it finally clears up, you’re back to 110km/h, the windows come down, you hit cruise control, and then this song comes on. Nothing better.

Sofi Tukker, Vintage Culture, “Drinkee”

My hidden secret is that I’m actually a huge EDM, House music, Deep House listener! I love big, filthy drops and some wrist flicking. My mate Dunno showed me this track a few years ago and it always G’s me up for a long trip or when I’m en route to play a show.

Olivia Rodrigo “deja vu”

Definitely, a new one to put in the playlist but I’ve found myself listening to this a lot lately. I think the production in this track is epic, and lyrically it’s super green and raw. Heaps of hooky melodies and lines all throughout a lot of her songs, but this has crept its way in just recently.


Slow Mornings is out now. You can keep up to date with Jack Botts via Facebook, Instagram and Spotify

Bruce Baker

Probably riding my bike, taking photos and/or at a gig. Insta: @bruce_a_baker