The COVID-19 pandemic hasn't been easy for Dylan Jakobsen, but it has been an opportunity to re-center himself and his priorities. His new song "Don't Ya Think?," premiering exclusively on The Boot, musically expresses a desire to keep a positive outlook and live each day to the fullest, even with the world around him partially shut down and headlines full of heavy news.

Jakobsen was writing for a new album in early 2020, but when COVID-related closures and changes began in earnest in the United States, "inspiration really came into full fruition." The musician, who had spent the past decade living life by a "grueling" work schedule, found himself stuck at home with a whole bunch of unexpected free time.

"Instead of sitting around and getting sucked into the dark with the terrible daily news going on, I’d just ask myself, 'How can I make the most of today? Because, honestly, there is no better time or opportunity than right now to make the most happen,'" Jakobsen tells The Boot. On one of those days, in late March, "Don't Ya Think?" arrived, written in just an hour or two.

Personal happiness, Jakobsen says, has become his highest priority as of late: He's been both listening and creating more music, cherishing time with his two dogs and making time for loved ones -- just as he sings about in "Don't Ya Think?" It's all been beneficial, for sure: "I feel evolved and for the better, too," says Jakobsen, who's learned a thing or two about finding the good in every situation.

"Do everything in your power to eliminate all of the negativity from your surroundings," he offers. "I don’t watch the news. I don’t have social media on my phone. I live in the moment, and that has helped me on a mental level tremendously. Not to mention, I feel like songwriting, for me, is and will always be the ultimate form of therapy ... By continually reminding myself of the silver lining in our insane, yet still current scenario, I was able to positively shape my outlook for now and into the future."

There's something fresh about the sound of "Don't Ya Think?" in relation to Jakobsen's past work. He cites Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty, as well as AC/DC, Eric Church and Foo Fighters, among others, among his musical inspirations and favorites, but this song in particular leans into the heartland rock side of that catalog, with an of-the-times, optimistic twist.

"Something special about this record, too, comes in its consistent theme: positivity, hope and faith in a time of darkness," Jakobsen notes. "I think some of that lies in the lyrics of contemporary Christian music, which honestly is a newer thing for me."

A Snohomish, Wash., native now living in Nashville, Jakobsen released his latest album, I Am, in 2019 and is preparing to announce his next record, Set Fire to the Night, soon. The project will be out in late 2021, though in addition to "Don't Ya Think?," fans have also already been able to hear the track "Beautiful," and the singer says he's ready to "play the crap out of these new songs" whenever he can safely get back out on the road.

"This is meant to be a record for everyone of all ages: Simple. Honest. Hopeful. I want to spread the message that we all have the choice on how we choose to live out our days," Jakobsen says. "This collection of songs is the product of how I have chosen to live out mine this past year, and just in writing them, I feel like I’ve discovered an entire new side of myself that had been waiting to be brought to light. I’m happier than ever, and I’m optimistic for what’s to come."

In addition to writing and recording his new record, Jakobsen used his time off the road during the pandemic to launch CNTRY, a line of all-natural beard care products, soaps and candles. More information is available at DylanJakobsen.com.

Listen to Dylan Jakobsen's "Don't Ya Think?":

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