By Rachel Cholst, Spotlight Producer
We interviewed Country Queer fan-favorite Jaimee Harris way back in August — but greatness takes time, and we’re excited to post the interview now! For those who aren’t acquainted with Harris’ sweeping balladry, we get into Harris’ origins as a songwriter, as well as her influences and encyclopedic knowledge of Texas country music.
Harris’s debut album, Red Rescue, centers her experiences with addiction, depression, and sobriety. We asked her to delve a bit into her process:
“I will tell you that my songwriting process is always changing. I recorded this record, like, the two days after my 26th birthday. So I spent a lot of time writing these songs. Some of them were actually products of the song game where you’re in a group email with other songwriters and you’re given a prompt and then you turn in a song like a voice memo of that song by the end of the week. Some of those songs came from that experience, but other ones, like ‘Snow White Knuckles,’ I wrote very soon after I got out of jail.”
Harris focused more on her experience than being precious about getting words on the page.
“I was all over the place when I was writing these songs. My life was mostly chaos. There wasn’t a hardcore process. And that’s probably what comes through is, like, there’s this sadness, there’s this struggle. And a lot of these songs, because I was figuring out how to be a sober person in the world and to stay out of jail. And I was wrestling with all that stuff that people in early sobriety wrestle with.”
On a lighter note, Harris revealed the history behind her signature rose-colored glasses:
“The glasses turned into a thing. I was really depressed and I had to go do something in North Austin and there’s this great vintage store that’s next to an incredible record store. So I just popped in for a second. And I loved these glasses because I was so struggling with depression, that it was really hard for me to make eye contact with people. These glasses gave me a superpower where I was able to be in the world again with a little bit of a shield. That was before I knew we were going to call the record Red Rescue. They just kind of became a part of my deal.”
To learn more about Harris’ journey — and her will-they-won’t-they courtship with folk icon Mary Gautier — hit the big ol’ play button now!
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