EXCLUSIVE! ‘Complicated Hearts’ by Jenny Bruce
For this week’s exclusive we have some pop-folk from a singer-songwriter who’s been out of the game for a while
This week’s Monday track exclusive is taken from Firefly In A Jar, the new EP from Jenny Bruce which sees her returning to a career in music after a short break. A short break of around 12 years, that is!
Bruce’s first album was released in 1997, and in 2001 a track from her second, Soul On Fire, was featured on a Martha Stewart-branded compilation alongside the likes of Alison Krauss, Barenaked Ladies and Lucinda Williams. She won, or was highly placed in, several high-profile songwriting competitions, including the Great American Songwriting Contest and the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, and her music was placed in numerous movies and TV shows. Everything seemed to be going terribly well… but then the wheels came off.
Shortly after the birth of Bruce’s first child, her husband’s job as a children’s book illustrator came to an end and her mother was given a terminal cancer diagnosis. She had to take on a full-time job to make ends meet; then, after the birth of her second child, her father contracted Parkinson’s disease. As a result, music was placed on the back-burner. “There was so much going on,” she says. “Big life stuff, and I couldn’t bring myself to write about any of it.”
But a call from an old music business colleague changed all that. Bruce began writing again, and started a Kickstarter campaign to fund new EP. Firefly In A Jar is the result, a collection of songs that deal with some of the issues Bruce has faced over the past few years – Giving Up The Ghost, for example, is about sitting by her mother’s bedside as she passed.
As for Complicated Hearts… “I wanted to write a song about being in a long-term, grown-up relationship,” says Bruce (who’s been married for 25 years). “As I was messing around with the chords on my son’s miniature Yamaha guitar, he asked me what I was playing. ‘What do you think of when you think of people falling in love?’ I asked him. He answered, ‘I think of two people falling down in a field of flowers,’ he said. In that instant I had that opening chorus lyric, “our love, was never fields of flowers”. Grown-up love isn’t what you think it will be when you are 11. It is so much more.”
The hype sheet for this one recommends it for fans of Carly Simon, Sarah McLachlan and Shawn Colvin. But as we always say, you can make your own mind up!