Even an astrology denier would’ve found something to love about Pisces, the gloriously chaotic new single by Jessie Phelps.
Below, we caught up with the London-based musician for a track-by-track guide to Pisces and the female musicians who inspired it. Without further ado, here is Pisces, in Jessie’s own words.
Since I’m a Virgo, I thought this title was fitting. Bad joke. Whether you are a believer of astrological signs and if planets really do influence how we exist, I love the idea.
It makes people a bit more mysterious and less predictable to me, not to mention it’s always a fun game to play “what’s your sign?” Yes, I am that person at parties.
I really connect to what a Pisces is, the extreme emotions and feeling everything. I wouldn’t want it any other way. I appreciate the sensitivity and empathy, it’s in my make-up and who I am, so why wouldn’t I embrace it?
The double-edged sword that is Pisces is that with lots of those thoughts and emotions comes indecisiveness, worry, and self-doubt. Analysis Paralysis. (Could have been an alternate song title, eh?)
Regardless, I wrote this with everything in me, a journal entry explaining who I am and apologizing for the bad parts. My most cathartic song.
“Just being a Pisces” is not an excuse, but a self-acceptance of my good and bad, and hoping you also accept me, because the sign is unfortunately also a people-pleaser.
I love how this song was written. The title is a bit deceiving, as it was actually written while I was sitting by a lake with my best friend. It was a beautiful summer day and we were understandably in good moods.
The mood translated into the light melody and tone of the song. It’s a bit dreamy but does have some depth and darkness in some of the lyrics. We were both angsty teenagers with hearts on our sleeves, so I’m sure that comes out in this.
We were writing about broken hearts but in a hopeful way because there wasn’t much to worry about back then. I want the listener to get to know me through my lyrics, and I think the push and pull between the light and the dark of this song is a great way to peel back some layers of who I am.
I had to have a straightforward love song, right? Maybe not, but I wrote one anyway. It’s about letting go and being in love, whatever that love looks like to the listener.
I think good love is giving yourself fully and completely to someone, and they give the same back. It’s not always dreamy and from a romantic comedy, though. It takes work to keep it going when the “honeymoon” phase is over.
We evolve and we change, and to do that simultaneously but also harmoniously? That’s where it gets tough. So this song is about giving it all, your heart but also the work.
Influences: Beth Gibbons, Imogen Heap, Susan Tedeschi, Joan Osborne, Fiona Apple.
Wash You Clean
An older song, this has always been close to my heart and I’m so happy I finally got to record and share it. It’s a bit up for interpretation, which I prefer. I don’t like to write straightforward, as that’s exactly how my Type B mind works.
I wrote this in a phase of self-reflection as well as a sulky young adult. I wanted to pour my feelings out but I used a lot of analogies to conceal what I felt. I think it really shows who I was at that point in my life. Allusive and elusive.
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It’s probably why I like it so much. It shows me how far I’ve come, where I can express myself a bit better now on a personal and social level. As far as my songwriting goes, I enjoy writing in a figurative language too much to ever give that up.
So, I’ll let the listener decide what I’m writing about.
The title of “WYGO” is a little word game of my own design. You can decipher what it means in the lyrics. The way I wrote it is a progressive build, just like the emotions in a relationship that is starting to falter.
I wanted the energy as well as the angst to pick up with every line, and I hope that’s what the listener feels too. It’s really an ode to marriage and the work you need to put in to keep things steady and healthy.
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Just like with a lot of my songs, I go off into a different reality so I can write a bit more of a new narrative, which is what I did with this one. It can apply to any situation or relationship that you have put your soul into but one false step and it can go off the rails.
Long story short, this is my spin of a beautifully tragic break-up song.