When Florida born-and-raised Laney Jones went to business school a few years ago, she didn’t expect to leave that industry behind to follow a more creative, musical one, but we’re lucky she did. In the two and a half years since her debut album, Golden Road, was released, the 24 year old indie singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has had a lot to be proud of. She was invited to perform an original track for a masterclass at the prestigious John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, has licensed music for Pixar, performed on PBS’s Great Performances series with Alison Krauss, and won the John Lennon Songwriting Contest.
Though her accolades tell us she is talented, her music tells us she is special. Her new self-titled record, releasing March 11th, has Jones allowing herself to experiment with countless inspirations and influences she has collected over her few years of making music. Citing hip-hop and folk as two of them, the record plays around with melody and genre-specific tone, featuring a multitutude of instruments including soft guitar and banjo. What Jones calls the “emotional climax” of the record, “A Simple Truth” is one track on the album that sees Jones get cozy with her vocals and musical charisma.
“Change is the only real constant in life, which can be scary but it’s also exhilarating,” she says about “The Simple Truth”, which is the main theme referenced throughout the song. Following compact instrumentation and occasionally a buzzing harmonica line, Jones’ sugary vocals have a gritty quality when she sings about different coming-of-age epiphanies she’s had, like in the hook “I can’t begin to know/Everything I thought I knew”. Though we can hear her growing up during the length of the song, she still holds tight to her youth which is reflected in the lyrics “I have been chasing a life that is fading/I’m doing what I can to keep my hope alive”, implying that she has come to terms with how fleeting life is in the midst of constant change but that it can be a good thing if we make it. Jones intended to make the subject of the song “universal” so listeners could relate to it. In the last acapella-choir verse, the unity is clear.
“The Simple Truth” showcases everything good and growing about Laney Jones: her maturation as a vocalist, her effectiveness at arranging instrumentals for emotional inflection, and the type of profound songwriting that impresses and astounds.
Listen to the track below and connect with Laney Jones on Facebook: