Breakups hurt, no matter who initiates it. Sadness, guilt, anger, self-doubt and a loss of center often cloud the picture of what was, in all likelihood, the right move. Utah native Jane Bruce navigated her way through a breakup, the messiness of which largely informs her full-length debut My Bed, a collection of songs which ultimately finds her resolute and ready to push on.
The doubt in herself and her choices opens up the record. “Best of Me,” riding on Bruce’s acoustic guitar line, highlights her internal battle – “I tell my mind to let it be/But thoughts race to see which one will get the best of me.” She’s fighting her (perceived) worst traits to appear her best and present that “ideal” image – “I can be selfish sometimes/But I’ll give you everything that’s mine” – to the rest of the world. The very next track, though, has her starting to push back on any lingering guilt. “Song About You” starts with a disarmingly pleasant riff, then drops the hammer on the guy who just…won’t…go away – “The worst part is I wanted/You to disappear/So I could go back to forgetting/About that whole year.” The song shares a path (albeit a little more direct) with a certain Carly Simon track – “Did you think that song was about you?” – and also shows a kinship between Bruce and Alanis Morrisette (Bruce worked on the “Jagged Little Pill” musical pre-pandemic) by warning overly eager male suitors that you just may not want a song written about you.
Bruce also looks at her own internal, chaotic bounce-back on My Bed. “Messy” recounts how one drink can become a minor meltdown, especially in the presence of a sympathetic ear and a generous pour – “I didn’t pay for one drink all night/The bartender saw the sad look in my eye.” Nights like that are necessary steps in a romantic recovery, as is the wilder evening found in “Man Talk.” An absolute buzzsaw that will reverberate with fans of mid-90s rockers (again, think Alanis), the track finds Bruce doing the rebound thing on her own, very assertive terms – “I know I should let my heart heal/But there’s a full moon rising, so get out of my way.” Gradually, though, the singer does realize that time and self-reliance are what work best for her. “My Bed” was the first song written after the breakup, but it’s the one that seems to have guided Bruce through her roughest period. Based around light percussion and Bruce’s insistent playing, the songs refuses to accommodate – “The core of what makes me tick you can’t be around” – and provides a mantra for going forward – “But anything less than loving has no place in my bed.” For Jane Bruce, the darkest moment provided the most clarity.
Song I Can’t Wait to Hear Live: “Man Talk” – It rocks as hard as anything I’ve heard this year. And “I’ll be the one who does the bending but not the one who breaks” is a sneaky-sexy line.
My Bed was produced by Jane Bruce, Elliah Heifetz and Chris Krasnow, engineered by Krasnow and Eva Lawitts, mixed by Andrija Tokic and mastered by John Baldwin. All songs were written by Jane Bruce. Additional musicians on the album include Krasnow (electric guitar, drums), Lawitts (bass) and Reid Jenkins (violin and string arrangements).
Go here to order My Bed (out February 11): https://linktr.ee/janebrucemusic
Info on Jane Bruce’s album release show here: https://www.seetickets.us/event/Jane-BrucewTBA/461094