English songwriter Tom Wardle was having a hard time sleeping one night at his friend’s house in Los Angeles, so he went outside and stood in the driveway and stared at the Hollywood sign. “I really had no money, but at least the sun was coming out,” he says.
The next day, Wardle went home and wrote “Jacqueline,” a sweet, folksy ballad with gritty vocals that echo Rod Stewart. With lyrics like, “We’re high in the hills/With our head in the clouds,” the song feels like a California dream.
Wardle began performing at bars and parties in his hometown of Nottingham, England at the age of 18. “Jacqueline” is about the changes he experienced when he moved to the States in 2017. “My move was inspired by the imagery of Beach Boys songs and promises of endless summer,” he says. “It’s definitely got a lot of soul, that song. I’m really proud of it.”
Here’s a live acoustic version: