Nashville singer-songwriter Becky Warren has announced plans for her new album, The Sick Season. Due October 23rd, the project’s first release is the pensive rocker “Me and These Jeans.”
On Warren’s previous two solo albums, War Surplus and Undesirable, she took stories of war veterans and the homeless population, respectively, and distilled them into punchy, big-hearted rock & roll tunes. With The Sick Season, Warren changes direction and looks inward to reckon with a particularly nasty bout of depression that took hold after she finished working on Undesirable.
“Most of the time I felt like I didn’t want to exist at all, so it was impossible for me to focus on the normal sorts of tasks that usually go with putting out an album: touring, talking to radio folks, leaving my house,” Warren tells Rolling Stone. “I withdrew from everyone and everything and hardly went anywhere at all while I waited to see if the next treatment would work. I had planned to write another concept album about other people, but the longer the depression lingered, the more I knew I was going to have to write about that.”
“Me and These Jeans” is situated right in the middle of that ordeal, a summertime bout of paralysis during which Warren could barely stand to leave the house. “I’m on the asphalt with my failures/Regret’s a hell of a jailer/While the summer girls dance off into the fall,” she sings, bolstered by bright strums of acoustic guitar and electric leads to fit the anthemic arrangement. In the chorus, Warren articulates her exhausted, confused state of mind at the time, singing, “Me and these jeans are out on the town if the town is my mind/If it ain’t then we’re back on the couch.”
“That might be a familiar feeling to anyone else who has been self-quarantining at home since March,” she says. “I was imagining everyone outside — strangers, my friends, everyone — going on with their summer lives as normal while I sat at home for yet another month trying to feel OK enough to get through another week and hoping a new medicine would work. Kind of a stir-crazed alternate reality that you fall into at midnight when kids on your street are setting off fireworks but you haven’t left the house in ages.”
Warren recorded The Sick Season with friends and collaborators Avril Smith (her former bandmate in the Great Unknowns), Jeremy Middleton, Megan Jane, and producer/multi-instrumentalist Jordan Brooke Hamlin. The album is currently available for pre-order via Bandcamp.