Jess Clemmons, the leader of Jess and the Bandits really stays busy. When she’s not working on her new songs, touring the UK, or spending time with her husband and young children, she’s creating a podcast where she interviews Texas musicians called “Jess Talks Texas.”
“Emotional Baggage” is her first music released since the lockdown, now that she’s spent a couple years at home with her young sons. The full-time musician saw a different lifestyle, dealing with the struggles of keeping a good outlook amid diapers and dirty dishes.
Referring to her cowriter Femke Weideme, Jess says, “We have both entered very new parts of our lives that involves being married, having children, and trying to balance a career and the person you once were. I think women in the same situation will definitely relate, but I also think anyone who carries a heavy load in their lives will relate as well.”
When the drums and the upbeat guitar intro kicks in, you can tell it’s going to be a fun song. The lyrics mention stacks of dirty dishes and how tired mama is, but she keeps hoping.
I give everybody everything
But sometimes it leaves me empty
I wouldn’t change it for the world
Even when things get a little messy
I got emotional baggage
Ain’t nothing I can’t manage …
It’s not quite what I imagined
But nothing easy’s worth having
I’m a whole lot of love and a hot mess
Wrapped in a package of emotional baggage
The second verse addresses how holding a drink on the beach used to be relaxing, but now it’s work with all the sippy cups and diapers involved in having a fun day outdoors.
After the second chorus, the electric guitar solo keeps you dancing in your seat. Then Jess slows it down and gets sentimental about smiling when she sees the little handprints on the windows, knowing she should clean them, but partly wanting to hold on to these chaotic moments and appreciate her children while they are young.
The next chorus is quiet and sparse, with just an acoustic guitar backing her vocals. When she sings, I sure love these kids and that husband, yeah, he does magic, the drums and electric guitar return to give us the happy feeling again.
After the last chorus, and a couple yee-haws as background vocals, the song ends with a banjo melody. Even amid the frenzy of the family, Jess doesn’t take herself too seriously, and shares the fun of her “Emotional Baggage.”
Click here to listen to “Emotional Baggage”
Writers: Jess Clemmons, Femke Weidema
Producer: Femke Weidema
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