The alt-pop singer reveals why she reinvented herself and how she discovered her sound.
Photography: Shari Hoffman.
Sad girls, prepare yourself as artist and businesswoman LACES is back with heart-wrenching new track, “Breaking My Heart”. Slowly leading us in with a thumping bass line, the singer erupts into a thunderous crescendo with American drill-style percussion and echoing melodies. Continuing her theme of vulnerability and self-discovery on the track, the singer explores the infamous love triangle we all try to run from in life, as she sings, “Consequence, I know how the story goes / Reminisce but who knew time would move so slow.”
“They say all is fair in love and war, but is it really?” The singer questions as she reflects on the single. “It seems we all end up losers in the game. The song explores the hearts we hurt along the way and most importantly what that hurt does to the relationship we have with ourselves.”
Known to use a variety of monikers such as Charlotte Sometimes and JPOLND, the singer catapulted into the spotlight at the end of last year, as her single “The End” was featured in cult-period drama Bridgerton during Daphne’s and Simon’s steamy controversial scene. With the singer ready to start a new chapter under the name LACES, we caught up with her talking the explosion of “The End”, finding her genre and what she hopes 2021 will bring.
Check out the single below…
Hi Jessica – how have you been during this uncertain time? How has it impacted your music and creativity?
I am actually doing ok, besides losing my mind every other day. I tend to thrive in intense situations, so I’ve been very determined and busy. Musically, I’ve had more time to be inspired by life events and I’ve been given the space, time, and opportunity to explore my craft in ways I’ve abandoned. For example, just sitting and writing, something that has been more foreign to me as I’ve gotten older. I usually write with a purpose, so it’s nice to get back to my roots.
Why the name LACES?
LACES reminds me of what ties everything together. I’ve always been all over the place musically, professionally, and personality-wise. It felt right as an artist moniker and I haven’t looked back since.
Where are you from and how has it influenced you sonically? Who are your biggest musical inspirations?
I am originally from the Jersey Shore. The land of bad tans and the Boss. There’s something special about growing up in Jersey. I notice the musicians coming from the Shore all have this very unique passion that creates an undercurrent of boldness. There seems to be a driving quality to the music. I’m not sure where that comes from, but I’ve always been fascinated by it. I’ve always been a song fan over following a certain artist. The song is everything. That being said, some artists you just can’t deny. Roy Orbison, Fiona Apple, Dan Layus, John Hiatt, Kate Bush, Christina Aguilera, Donna Missal, Liz Phair, Noah Gunderson, Ruston Kelly, New Radicals… to name a few. I really like music, I can’t narrow it down!
How would you describe your genre?
I always call it adult alt-pop. I’ve always been the meathead’s artsy chick. Never weird enough but never shiny enough for the masses. I love creating music that gets stuck in your head or becomes a part of the listener’s narrative. When you create just for yourself it’s like self-love on overdrive. I am trying to create a connection. We relate to ourselves by relating to others. Without that conversation, you’re just left masturbating to yourself. Self-love is cool but not what I am after when I create.
Congratulations on your new single “Breaking My Heart”, about a love triangle – what was the inspiration behind it?
We all hope that we don’t get lost in someone else when our heart is promised to another. I wanted to explore how affairs and those promises affect us and those around us. It’s the push and pull of wanting it all and leaving with nothing. It’s an exploration of the hearts we hurt along the way and most importantly what that hurt does to the relationship we have with ourselves. Some decisions haunt you forever.
Your reinvention as LACES came after a time of real trauma and turmoil – how did moving to California aid you honing your sound?
I created LACES when I moved to LA seven and a half years ago. I can’t believe it’s been that long! I think my sound evolved as I evolved. The journey of life carries many heavy stories. The older I’ve become the more I say with less words. I think sonically that followed where I was mentally. My songs are now more a reflection, an observation, a question and less of a judgement. Whenever I write a song, I get to know myself on a deeper level. The songs are just getting a little more mature. You can thank my therapists over the years.
Your viral hit “The End” was heard in Bridgerton – how did you feel when you saw the show explode in popularity, with your song now having been streamed over three million times?
It’s always nice when an audience resonates with the music. The song was written a long time ago, so it’s exciting that it’s getting this afterlife. I try to do the work and stay out of the results, because all successes don’t last forever. The moment I let them get to my head is the moment the depression sets in. It’s important for me not to tie my self-worth into how many are listening to my tracks. I’ve been down that road when I was a signed artist, and I am more focused on doing good work and changing the industry to be a safer & more equitable space.
What do you hope your music brings at such a time of uncertainty?
I hope that people look to my music and me as individual as a story of resilience. I hope it brings comfort to all those that fit into the “other” box. Music should be a place of empathy and catharsis.
What’s next for you? What are you looking forward to in 2021?
I am releasing a new music video for “Breaking My Heart” that I can’t wait to share! We worked so incredibly hard on putting this together in COVID times. I am eager to share it with the 100 people who might watch it! I am looking forward to being hopeful in 2021. It’s been a while since I felt that way and I couldn’t think of a better time to try on that emotion.