When an artist spends precious set time talking about a song’s inspiration, they’re sometimes met with the demand of “less talk, more rock”. Which is pretty unfair, because when your tunes are left up to interpretation, setting the stage for your lyrics is just as important as contextualizing an ajar journal entry.
So we gotta applaud the admirable candor of Mary Bryce, who, on top of keeping her Substack regularly updated, is also quite the accomplished poet, painter, and singer-songwriter, best known in the latter category among locals as a member of long-gone Austin outfit SMiiLE. Like the best of us, Mary seized the start of the pandemic to begin working on a new creative outlet – Alma Jette (alongside a solo album recorded straight to tape) before re-locating to Los Angeles with her then-partner/SMiiLE frontman Jake Miles. But that brief period between the LP’s affectionate origins and the present hasn’t been without tumult; just last year, Bryce’s long-term relationship with Miles ended shortly after the pair’s L.A. home burned down.
Fortunately, those circumstances haven’t left too sour a taste in Bryce’s mouth. At least not enough to scrap the whole project. Instead, like a phoenix, those ten intimate snapshots have taken on more, wiser nuance with Alma Jette’s debut full-length, I Found A Reason, out late April. And since Bryce now splits her time between LA and ATX, it’s definitely worth catching Alma Jette in town for a single release ’round midnight tomorrow at Sagebrush after openers Sammy G at 9PM, Other Vessels at 10PM, and Harry & Emmy at 11PM. That single – “Demons” – cuts straight to the chase of its title in its first handful of seconds before an enchanting orchestral arrangement pushes emotions to the top. It’s almost like a just-discovered Joni Mitchell folk rock single at a thematic midpoint between Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour and Star-Crossed. Just don’t blame Bryce when the waterworks start flowing…
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