Jaime Wyatt follows up her celebrated 2017 debut Felony Blues with the new album Neon Cross, her first for New West Records. Produced by Shooter Jennings, the LP refines Wyatt’s honky-tonk sound into something more lush, layered, and complex, and arrives May 29th.
Ahead of the album’s release, Wyatt unveils a music video for the title track that finds her haunting some less-visited corners of Los Angeles. She’s in the Los Feliz strip club Jumbo’s Clown Room with Jennings; hanging with members of the Urban Saddles horse club; and indulging her torch-singer impulses onstage at Culver City’s Cinema Bar. Directed by Magdalena Wosinska, the clip is as gritty and unadorned as Wyatt herself.
In a statement, she says her new album embraces aspects of her life that were previously hidden, including her relapse into substance abuse and coming out as gay.
“Neon Cross is a collection of my most vulnerable lyrics and vocal performances to date. My friend Shooter, our manager and most of the band had literally witnessed me as a walking disaster when I was grieving death, divorce, and trying to come out of the closet, while heavily self-medicating and nearly self-destructing with drugs and alcohol,” says Wyatt, who learned to accept the imperfect while in the studio with Jennings.
“We ended up keeping a lot of first or second vocal performances and keeping takes with a lot of grit and cracks in my voice, which made me really self-conscious, especially being newly clean and sober,” she says. “But with the support of these people who love me and believe in me as an artist and person, I was able to take those risks by keeping the more raw, passionate vocals.”
Jennings, who won back-to-back Grammys for co-producing Brandi Carlile’s By the Way, I Forgive You and Tanya Tucker’s While I’m Livin‘, appears on a track on Neon Cross. His mother Jessi Colter — the widow of Waylon Jennings — cameos as well, joining Wyatt on the song “Just a Woman.” The late Neal Casal also contributes guitar, harmonica, and Wurlitzer on the album.
Wyatt will appear at SXSW in Austin in March and is gearing up for a new tour. “I hope people are able to feel the emotion of this album,” she says, “and have their own unique and cathartic experience while listening.”
Jaime Wyatt’s Neon Cross track list:
1. “Sweet Mess”
2. “Neon Cross”
3. “L I V I N”
4. “Make Something Outta Me”
5. “By Your Side”
6. “Just a Woman” (Featuring Jessi Colter)
7. “Goodbye Queen”
9. “Rattlesnake Girl”
10. “Hurt So Bad” (Featuring Shooter Jennings)
11. “Demon Tied to a Chair in My Brain”
Here are Wyatt’s current tour dates:
March 20 – Austin, TX @ Still A Free Country – SXSW Lustre Pearl
March 20 – Austin, TX @ New West Records SXSW Official Showcase
March 21 – Austin, TX @ Rustic Tap SXSW Party
April 16 – Dallas, TX @ Blue Light Dallas
April 17 – Tulsa, OK @ Cain’s Ballroom
April 18 – Katy, TX @ Mo’s Place
May 29 – Nashville, TN @ Exit/In
June 12 – Oslo, Norway @ Oslo Americana
June 13 – Stockholm, Sweden @ Sthlm Americana
June 27 – Silverado, CA @ Born Free Motorcycle Show
July 18 – Somerset, KY @ Master Musicians Festival