A raw and emotional debut album from singer/songwriter and Broadway actress Jane Bruce.
It’s been a couple of turbulent years for singer/songwriter Jane Bruce. She moved to the east coast where she was due to start work on “Jagged Little Pill” the Alanis Morissette musical which then opened on Broadway after previewing out of town – she’d moved there with a partner she was planning to have a life with. However not only did the musical close temporarily due to the pandemic, but she also broke up acrimoniously with her partner so she then had a lot of time on her hands. However, these life changes gave her the chance to get the breakup out of her system by writing some songs as a cathartic exercise and the result is her excellent debut album ‘My Bed’.
There are just nine songs on the album but they’re all written from the heart as Bruce vents her anger and her pain in her music. Titles such as ‘Messy’, ‘The Final Word’ and ‘Too Late’ allow her to send a message to her ex-partner about what she’s thinking and feeling as well as allowing listeners to the album who have gone through a similar experience, to empathise with Bruce. As she says, ‘So even though a lot of what I wrote about was painful, I was grateful to have the inspiration and creative freedom to express it’.
Recorded at Wonderpark Studios in Brooklyn accompanied by Chris Krasnow on electric guitar and drums, Eva Lawitts on bass and Reid Jenkins on violin, Bruce is a bit of a chameleon voice-wise. She can sound Joni Mitchell/Laura Marling folky on acoustic tracks such as ‘Best Of Me’ and ‘The Final Word’, rocky on the reverb drenched ‘Man Talk’, breathy on ‘Song About You’ and slightly edgier voiced in a Chrissie Hynde like way on ‘To Be Needed’ – maybe it’s the fact that Bruce is also an actress which allows her to change her voice to fit the mood of the song. As for the overall sound of the various tracks, that too varies from song to song with some gentle acoustic ballads, one or two tracks that really rock out and even one, the aforementioned ‘Song About You’ that has a Latin shuffle feel about it. There’s also a delightful string arrangement from Jenkins on ‘The Final Word’ which adds to the melancholy feel of the song.
To compound Jane Bruce’s tough couple of years, after closing when the whole of Broadway shut down due to covid back in March 2020, “Jagged Little Pill” was one of several shows that never really recovered and it played its last performance on December 17th 2021 putting Bruce out of work! However, the upside it that she’ll be around not only promote the album but hopefully also to get out and play live which can only be a good thing.