Jessie Baylin is letting go of expectations and “writing herself back into her life.” On Friday, she released the music video for her single “That’s the Way,” which is set to be part of her first album in seven years, Jersey Girl, Rolling Stone can exclusively announce.
“I had the support of a few trusted friends and collaborators who believed in me and wouldn’t let the fear monster in my head win,” she tells Rolling Stone about the upcoming record. “I wrote songs from that place, I looked back at my life and wrote to that girl, and I just tried to tell a few stories that needed telling.”
Baylin says she didn’t have the intention of making an album, but her producer and co-writer Daniel Tashian “tricked me into doing it.” “Through writing these songs and living my life around them, it somehow led me back to my essence: [being a] Jersey Girl,” she says.
The album’s first single is the flowy, nostalgic “That’s the Way,” accompanied by its Casey Pierce-directed video, which sees the singer eccentrically dancing to the piano-backed track in front of many mirrors.
“I wanted to lean into the 1970s European cinema feel,” she says of the black-and-white video. “It always feels timeless to me and carries a bit of drama and mystery… The dancing element and the mirror’s reflections felt important to me to capture that primal, wild, natural style of choreography: it matched the lyric and story of love that can put you under the influence and where, in many ways, you can ‘lose yourself.’ “
The LP marks her return to music since releasing Dark Place in 2015 and comes as she continues to remind herself that it’s simply time to “practice letting go of my expectations.” (She also released the children’s album Strawbery Wind in 2018.)
“I think that might be where true happiness lies. I do things that feel right for my heart, my soul, for my family, my children,” she says. “I used to tell myself that I couldn’t have it all, but I don’t believe that anymore.”
Jersey Girl is out on Sept. 23.