Jane Bruce’s ‘My Bed’ Recounts the Messy and Complex Process of Finding Self-Worth

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Jane Bruce’s My Bed Recounts the Messy and Complex Process of Finding Self-Worth

My Bed - Album Cover
Listen to ‘My Bed’
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NEW YORK — February 11, 2022 — Singer-songwriter Jane Bruce’s My Bed, out today, is raw, honest, complex and sometimes a little angry along the way: within its nine songs, the album tracks the back and forth of a roller coaster time — one moment it’s longing and fragile, in the next defiant and confident. My Bed finds Bruce working through the sad and sticky process of letting go of a lover, as well as the idea of a perceived future, and recognizes her self-worth in the process.
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“Before she moved to Massachusetts to join the cast of Jagged Little Pill—first in its initial Cambridge run, then on Broadway—singer/songwriter Jane Bruce was already fluent in the melodicism, ire, and sharp wit of Alanis Morissette. It’s all there on “Song About You,” which dates back earlier than her time with the show…”

Flood Magazine

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Bruce credits her dad with introducing her to many of her early favorites, whose fingerprints can be heard throughout her own music — Aimee Mann, Fiona Apple, and Alanis Morisette, among them. Though many young women in the ‘90s can count the latter as an influence, it’s a particularly noteworthy turn of events for Bruce, since she wrote much of My Bed in Cambridge, MA, where she moved to work on “Jagged Little Pill” before the play moved to Broadway. Bruce recorded My Bed at Wonderpark Studios in Brooklyn, with musicians-engineers Eva Lawitts and Chris Krasnow and fellow singer-songwriter Elliah Heifetz.
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“…for Bruce, conflicting feelings and contradictory impulses are dissected, sometimes subdued, but rarely tamed.”

Holler

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My Bed begins with “Best of Me,” an exploration of the ways we present ourselves to the people we desire, delving into how our insecurities can feel like they’re truly getting the better of us. The Bluegrass Situation notes it’s “an interesting twist on a ‘pining-for-you’ love song.”

“Song About You” was written about an ex who kept showing up at Bruce’s shows and concerts – either unwilling or uninterested in moving on from the relationship – even though she had long ago. The song is, by extension, also written for every man who thought they deserved a love song from her. “Messy” follows, with its exploration of sadness and self-loathing, then “The Final Word,” a part-two to a track from her 2017 EP, It’s You.

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“’Man Talk’ rocks as hard as anything I’ve heard this year…an absolute buzzsaw that will reverberate with fans of mid-90s rockers, the track finds Bruce doing the rebound thing on her own, very assertive terms.”

Americana Highways

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“Too Late” ponders the moments of doubt that can accompany getting older: Did you miss your chance? Are you doing enough to make the most of opportunities? And what happens if circumstances get in the way of your momentum? Holler says the singer-songwriter “captures an emotionally honest moment of self-doubt” and notes, “against a somber acoustic guitar, Bruce’s voice climbs, aspiring to something more…Bass and drums enter after the chorus, grounding the song with a heftier weight that balances Bruce’s soaring voice.”

The title track, the first song written for the album and the catalyst for the rest, chronicles feelings in the wake of a life changing, of finding your place in a new reality.

The last song written for the project was “To Be Needed,” finished after she gathered some of her last belongings from her ex, while the last song on the album, “Sweet Speculation,” ends the collection with a wink and a nod.

“No breakup, or change, or chapter of life ever comes to a perfect conclusion. It lingers and teaches you new things about yourself and your needs and flaws along the way,” she says. “I didn’t know it when I set out on writing this project, but writing these songs allowed me to trust that I can be powerful, that I don’t need everyone to like me all the time, and that my ability to love people so fully is actually a superpower.”

Bruce was raised in Ogden, Utah, a mountain town north of Salt Lake City. She always felt like a bit of a social outcast, raised by “proud, alcohol-drinking sinners” in a town that centered heavily around religion. She taught herself to play guitar at age 15 on a borrowed guitar, partly in an attempt to process feelings about teen crushes and the myriad emotions that accompany young adulthood, but also as a way to be seen as more than just a “theater kid.” Once she started playing and writing, she realized she didn’t care much at all what other people thought when she could get lost in emulating Joni Mitchell’s tunings and Shawn Colvin’s fingerpicking patterns.

“Telling stories is what I do. Whether I’m acting in a Broadway theatre or playing guitar in a club or just recounting a wild weekend night to a friend, there’s nothing I love more than taking people with me on a genuine emotional journey,” Bruce says. “And it just so happens that when I play my own original songs, I get to tell my stories—the stories I need to tell to make sense of my life and the world around me.”

“I think this album sort of represents my journey from growing up as a social pariah in such a conservative place to eventually finding my power through my writing and storytelling. I really value authenticity and truth, even when it’s messy.”

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PRESS PHOTOS: Rebecca Michelson

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More about Jane Bruce:

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