Hello my lovelies,
As many of you know I have been busy writing ... I have a crap-ton of songs. Not sure how many that is, it’s a good question for Alan... ha!
[Sidebar from Alan: Since preproduction began last June, Jewel has written over 60 new songs, most of which are finished songs in demo form other than a dozen or so that are still in progress.]
He said it’s been the most prolific period I may ever have had. It’s funny, but I really have no idea.
This is the first album I have decided to write from scratch. For every album since Spirit I have gone through my back catalogue and gathered about 12 songs I like and then write 3 songs max. Even for my country albums. I have always written so many styles that no matter what type of album I was doing, I could always pull songs in that genre.
But for this album, I wanted every song to be new. And I didn't want to do anything I have done before. So, it's taken me a while to find a new writing style and break free into something strange and soulful and vital. Something that is visceral. Something that is modern but timeless.
It's strange writing at this age. Writing poems and books has been more my speed lately for some reason. When I was a child I wrote like a bleeding vein. I was raw and guttural and quicksilver. Feelings were pouring out of me with near violence. I needed to write to stay sane, to mitigate hurt, to stop the bleeding, to connect using sheer brute force. And I loved it. Every syllable felt electric.
When you become a mom, your entire center of gravity shifts. Everything revolves around the love that lives outside of you. The heart that beats outside of your chest. The love that inhales and exhales in waves, like miracles that reach your eyes. The mind boggles at the love that reaches your eyes, the way light travels for millions of years to find you in that one moment ...now... and now again. This love was making its way to me for eons, and it satiates you in a way that is hard to describe. The world quit bleeding. My time began to reorganize itself to revolve around the sun that is my child. Work became a serpent to my love for my child. Everything got more quiet and more muted in tone.
To write now is a different skill. I used to write from pain and angst. I write from joy now. I write for sheer adventure. I write for poetry. I write for silliness. I write to explore.
I have pushed myself hard to let myself be free. To forget everything I used to know and used to be. To let go of everything that I think of myself and push past it.
Right now, I have folk and pop and rock ... but it's the neo-soul I am leaning into. My favorite songs are using my voice in a new way, and paying homage to the influences of my youth- Sarah Vaughan. Etta James. Muddy Waters. W.C. Handy. Marvin Gaye. Aretha Franklin. Bessie Smith. I’m not sure how it will all come together. It still hasn’t really formed yet in a cohesive way. But I feel it in there. And I won't stop until I find the songs in me that are free and wild and new.
In the meantime, I have to say the pop stuff has been my second favorite- it’s been fun! They make me smile. I want you all to hear them. Maybe there will be a whole other record. Who knows?
And then there is the book. The book has been deep and intense and fun to write. I just sent it to a friend to begin to see where I am and I guess I have written more than my last book already. I need to weed it out and pair it down, and of course I still need to write the ending!
The book is about change. It asks the question - why do we change without ever changing? How do our circumstances change, yet we face the same emotional turmoil over and over- and never change? It’s a book about how we perceive the world through the lens of misunderstandings that we pick up along the way, and how we build our reality by bonding different emotions based on these misunderstandings - and how this drives our decisions. And of course, it's about how we re-understand our core misunderstandings and re-bond emotions to create change. It’s really been fun to write about- as it’s a topic I love.
And I guess that’s my update for now! My goal is to finish the book and record this year, and begin to release them next year.
For now, I am tucked away and creating and resting and enjoying time at home!
This is a new song
No More Tears
Songs are like little
Spirits that arrive unexpectedly
You can’t force them to come
You can’t tell them what to say
You can only be present
And listen carefully
And take notes well
And make yourself transparent
Your skin like a glass lantern
So only the song can be seen
I can’t wait to share more with you all....
Xoxo xoxo j
(We are not in the business of fighting the darkness. We are farmers of light.)