A Grey Area

A Grey Area

JP Saxe’s music invites personal reflection—so much so that the singer-songwriter named his debut full-length album Dangerous Levels of Introspection. A Grey Area is no different in its ability to provoke questions and revelations, a feat Saxe pulls of with clever, often highly specific lyrics (“You’re high and you’re talking about communism,” on “Caught Up on You”) and a delivery style that ranges from an intimate whisper to an anguished belt. Accordingly, Saxe’s fans feel an especially personal tie to his music, something the “If the World Was Ending” star finds goes in both directions. “It's always felt like a magic trick to me that these songs that come from often very lonely, very private parts of my life end up being the thing that makes me feel the most connected to people I've never met all over the world,” he tells Apple Music. Below, Saxe shares insight into several key tracks. “Old Times Sake (Epigraph by Yesika Salgado)” “I've always loved the epigraphs at the beginning of books. I've always loved the process of reading that, wondering why an author picked it, maybe liking the poem, but not having the context, getting to the end of the book, going back, reading the poem again and thinking, ‘Oh shit, that's why they picked this.’ Yesika and I have been friends for about 10 years now. We met through the poetry community in Los Angeles. She and I edited one of her poems into a singable form, and it became the introduction, the epigraph of my album. I hope when people listen to it the first time, it'll set the tone for listening to the rest of the album and the story and the emotional space that they'll be experiencing.” “I Don’t Miss You” “I'd been working on that song for a long time, and I couldn't quite find the right first lyric for the chorus. And finally I thought it would be worth calling in some reinforcements, so I texted John Mayer and I asked him if he may know what that lyric was supposed to be. And he said, ‘Well, why don't you come to the studio and I'll play some guitars on the record, and we'll see if we can figure out that lyric.’ And that's exactly what we did.” “Caught Up on You” “When you write a lot of songs about the more heartbreaking, painful elements of what it feels like to be human, it's nice to take a moment to write about what joy can feel like, especially trying to learn how to let joy be bigger than your ability to come up with what it should be. And that's what that song means to me. It's just that. That song feels like the parts of my life where I'm allowing myself to be surprised by where my happiness comes from.” “Fear & Intuition” “That song started as my response to people telling me to trust my gut. That's always been confusing advice to me, because my gut says a lot of different things. It's not very articulate, and it's usually very, very hard to decipher. But for now, like I say in the lyrics, what I'm drawn to and away from because of some sort of subconscious understanding of what's meant for me versus what I'm drawn to and away from because of my internalized subconscious trauma are very hard to distinguish.” “All My Shit Is in My Car” “That song’s about how all my shit was in my car. And I think, more broadly, it's about navigating when what you want and what you want to want are no longer the same thing. And figuring out what the fuck to do about it. For someone who does a lot of whispering about how he feels, it is occasionally lovely to scream about it, too.” “If Love Ends” “Ending the album on a question felt like an important recognition of the central theme. I wanted to call the album A Grey Area because I think there are so many different feelings on this album. And maybe at first glance some of those feelings seem to contradict one another, but I feel the most human when I allow multiple emotions to exist at the same time, and recognize that they don't count each other out. If anything, the more emotions we allow to exist in our body at the same time, probably the more human we are going to feel.”

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