Sarah Jane Nelson’s latest single is written for all the women who have devoted their energy and time to their homes, husbands and families. All too often, women are constantly working for the people around them while feeling undervalued and hoping for something better. Nelson direct lyrics give true sense of weariness with always putting others first. Nelson explains the story behind the song: “Since I was a little girl, I have been fascinated by the thankless work that women do. I saw my great grandmother, grandmother, and mother work their fingers to the bone for little praise and no pay-check. As a ‘modern woman’ I see many women in this generation earning money outside the home and as fulfilling all the roles of the 1950s housewife as well. It’s no wonder that women are anxious and depressed. When women said they ‘wanted it all’ I don’t think this is what was intended. The hook of this song is especially important to me because so many women who run their households, are forced to do so while making their husband feel like he is actually running the household. I hope the lyrics of this song help women feel empowered to take their place and raise their voice. We have come so far but we still have a long ways to go to get to equality in the home. This one is for all those tired women out there who have been ‘driving from the back seat’ for far too long.”
As powerful as the lyrics are, Nelson’s voice is equally impressive. Her confident, characterful vocal brings to mind the classic country singers from years gone by, such as Loretta Lynne and Mary Chapin Carpenter. Indeed, everything about the sound and style of ‘Tired’ captures that ‘classic’ country but such is the quality of song-craft and delivery that the song feels authentic and fresh.
The single is taken from the forthcoming album ‘Shelby Park’, which drops on 29th April, which was produced by Nelson and Jamie Tate (Taylor Swift). You can expect songs that cover a range of real life, everyday issues from marriage to divorce, motherhood to self-worth, alongside sensitive songs on challenging subjects, such as sexual assault. The Nashville-based singer-songwriter spent many years working as an actor before turning to music. She explains how this, and her personal experiences, has influenced her song-writing and the new record: “For many years, I was terrified to be truly vulnerable in my song-writing. I was used to playing a part. As an actor but also in my personal life in the role of the happy wife with the perfect family. When I finally filed for divorce, the façade crumbled and I was left with the task of picking up the pieces and building a new life. It was scary to write my last record, ‘I’m Not Broken’, but when I released it, I got daily emails from new fans telling me that they cried as they listened as it felt like I was singing their story. Reading those messages each day, hearing that my music provided comfort and hope, I felt empowered to go even deeper with this new record and be fearless in giving voice to the stories of those who have felt unheard and under-represented for a long time.”
Raised in southern Arkansas on bluegrass and heartbreak songs from the 1960s, Sarah Jane Nelson has come a long way. Now, she’s a regular performer at Nashville’s Bluebird Café. Also, she won the country award in the MerleFest Chris Austin Song-writing Contest and has been a finalist for the International Song-writing Competition and for Kerrville New Folk Festival. Nelson’s country-influenced Americana is impressively crafted. Check it out.
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