“It’s seemingly about relationships with other people, but I think it’s more about a relationship with the higher power,” Jenny Lewis tells Apple Music about her fifth solo full-length. “And I’m not even talking about God—it’s the details.” By that, Lewis means the sort of simple, quotidian texture we might normally have overlooked before the pandemic took hold, when the world stood still long enough for us to truly appreciate them. At the time, the LA singer-songwriter had already written a number of songs that would end up on Joy’All. But like anything else, they evolved, Lewis continuing to edit and write on her own, at home alone in Laurel Canyon (or as part of a virtual songwriting workshop hosted by Beck) with the windows and doors open. “It was like, suddenly, there were no airplanes overhead, no cars on the street, no hikers even. The animals emerged from the canyon, and the house next to me was empty, so I could make a lot of noise.” Once lockdowns had loosened, she took to Nashville, where she recorded with acclaimed producer (and Apple Music Radio host) Dave Cobb, a perfect fit for Lewis’ work if there ever was one. “The songs pre-pandemic are a little more persons, places, and things, and then the songs post- are a little more existential musing,” she says. “Certainly, one element of Joy’All is gratitude and a sort of witnessing of the moment, because the moment was so traumatic for so many of us. It’s having a little breath and reflecting on the whole thing with gratitude. I personally had a profound shift. I can’t say if it’s a positive one, but it’s definitely a shift.” Here, Lewis zooms in on the details of a few songs. “Psychos” “‘Psychos’ has been around for a minute—it’s had a couple incarnations. It started out as a bossa nova, on a keyboard I have in Nashville, a CP-70 Yamaha. Then I recorded a version with my friend in the Midwest, kind of a remix version. And then I demoed it on GarageBand, on my iPhone, and took it to Dave. So, it had all these lives so far. If it’s a solid song, it can sort of exist in all the worlds. Some songs don’t translate from the album to a live setting or vice versa, but some are very fluid.” “Joy’All” “This one started out with a Purdie shuffle. Bernard Purdie is this famous session drummer, and he would do this thing with his fingers on the snare drum, and that’s fingers on the snare—so that set the tone. And I was so free on top of that rhythm. There’s a little bit of a blue note in there, too, but that’s intentional.” “Puppy and a Truck” “I was prompted in the Beck songwriting workshop, and this had been something I really had been living, because I actually do have a puppy and a truck, so it was pretty easy to write. But having the deadline in the workshop was crucial—I’d been thinking about it for a month, but I actually wrote it in 24 hours, and it was done. I wrote every line with my puppy by my side. And I played it every night opening for Harry Styles, and every night my production manager would bring Bobby [Rhubarb] out, with little doggy headphones on, and she knew—she knew it was me up there.” “Apples and Oranges” “It’s about a skateboarder. It was a waltz, and it had been around for a minute, and I was going to cut it for On the Line, but I didn’t for some reason. And I put it aside, and then I revisited my voice notes—which is my most valuable thing, all the stuff in my voice notes, thousands of bits of things—and I went back to it, and I was like, ‘You know what? Let me change the time signature and the key, and then rework the bridge and demo it on my phone.’ And it was just a totally new song.” “Giddy Up” “It has a De La Soul reference: ‘The stakes is high, the whistle blows,’ which is kind of a #MeToo nod as well. There’s a lot going on in that song as far as it’s a plea for intimacy, but not without peril or potential peril. It’s like the risk of putting yourself out there. It’s really about cognitive dissonance, that song. Like, get on your pony and ride—you know this isn’t the thing.” “Chain of Tears” “It ends with the line, ‘If it ain’t right, it’s wrong.’ So, back on that cognitive-dissonance tip and the same plea in ‘Giddy Up,’ to get on the pony and get out there. I think it’s like, we have the facts, and we’re voting no.”

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