Jessica Mitchell: We went through a very large catalogue of songs that I had written over the past four and a half years and it was really tough to choose. I think for these two it was very production focused cause we wanted to do something a little different that maybe represented me a little better than the old stuff. I've always sat in this really grey area in terms of what it is exactly I "am" so to speak. But Don't Love Me is such an old song and we finally found the perfect way to represent it. I'm extremely proud of my producer Karen Kosowski for knocking the vibe out of the park.
How do you think your music and sound has changed since your 2016 EP?
I don't know if it technically has, I think it's just a matter of evolving. It's so important to evolve with every chapter of your life. I still play all those songs live and I love them so much. I just love the fact also that as an artist and a songwriter I can move forward with every chunk of time and life that passes.
“Don’t Love Me” is such an emotive and powerful song. Like all great country music should, it sounds like it comes from a place deep in the soul and from a place of great emotion. For you, how do you arrive at that state of being able to write such a raw and real song like this? Is it a difficult process for you?
It can be really difficult. "Workin' on Whiskey" was a song that was written very quickly but also ended up being a nightmare for me emotionally after the fact. "Don't Love Me" was the same. The feeling of sharing such a raw, deep part of yourself with the public can be a terrifying thing. But it's so therapeutic to write those parts of yourself because you never know how much someone else might need you to.
The clever lyrics of the “Don’t Love Me” chorus flip the norm: usually holding hands and kissing would be seen as a good thing, but in this song, you’re singing that the person shouldn’t be loving, because you’re better off without him. What was the inspiration behind the song, and that somewhat backwards chorus?
It's a tough one to describe. I've made a lot of mistakes in my life and with this particular thing it was attempting to become friends with someone that I had seriously hurt many years ago. I think we both kind of realized that it wasn't going to be a thing (becoming friends) because you just can't get to that place after everything you've been through. So when you finally see that person, you almost want to say "please don't be nice to me" because you remember all the things you did that weren't fair to that person. It's complicated, but it needed to be written. I love the fact that it's a different song when it comes to lyric flipping. It's telling the story from both sides.
While “Don’t Love Me” is sad and remorseful, “Tear It Down” has a bit more edge and grit. This shines through especially in the production of the song. Who produced this track, and were there any specific influences on the sound of the song?
Karen Kosowski killed this song, we wrote it in a writing camp of all places. I think sonically it's such a step away from anything that anyone is doing and we wanted it to be big and burly but still remain emotional in the journey. I think she definitely saw a lot of Sheryl Crow in that one. It's definitely one of my favorite songs I've ever recorded, I had so much fun singing it.
What was the inspiration behind “Tear It Down?”
It's definitely a song about taking power back in your life. Taking something you don't need, getting rid of it, and building something back up.
So these two songs are out now. What’s next for you? Any plans for releasing a project containing these two songs?
We definitely are working on the next chapter of songs to put together a record. But for now I'm heading out on the road for the summer. I'm really excited to play this new stuff live for people.
See Jessica at theCavendish Beach Music Festival and check out her tour dates here.