Hi Breanne, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
I am doing well. Taking things one day at a time and staying safe. I am so excited about our new album release.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Too Tired To Cry”?
Too Tired to Cry is a song about grief from loss. I made a connection between when the weather is too cold in Minnesota for it to snow and that feeling when you’re too exhausted from grieving to cry.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
I started writing the song about my brother Tim who died in 2009 so the lyrics come from the memories we shared. As I continued to write and work on it with the full band, I was inspired by all the losses I’ve had in my life – my dad, my brothers and grandparents.
How was the filming process and experience behind the video?
Filming a music video during a pandemic limits things. I would’ve preferred to have the band featured throughout – especially Johnny because his pedal steel solo is so integral to the tune. I decided it would have to be a solo film project. I don’t have great equipment so it was made with my iPhone mostly propped on my vehicle dashboard with tape. This is my first time making a music video from conception to filming to editing. I’m so happy with how it turned out. It has a home video DIY feel to it which supports the song well.
The single comes off your new album Juniper – what’s the story behind the title?
The album title for Juniper came years ago when I was on a work trip in Colorado. I was doing yoga at Red Rocks Amphitheatre and I was drawn to the hearty little trees at the end of each row. I asked someone what they were and they said “juniper.” In that moment I identified with them. So many harsh elements but there they were surviving and thriving in the heart of a gorgeous outdoor music venue. The songs in the album are mostly autobiographical and speak to hard times and surviving. The pacing is slower than the last couple projects I’ve done because I was going for that “long hike in the Rocky Mountains” kind of feel. It’s introspective and reflective.
How was the recording and writing process?
This was the first project I sought help for pre-production and it was a game changer for me! I worked with Vicky Emerson from Minneapolis. When the songs were ready, we rehearsed and booked a whole weekend to record. Four days before our recording date, our state shut down due to COVID. We had to postpone everything. While isolated, I took that time to work more on the songs. Out of nowhere, the title track came to me and was written in a flash of light. When we finally gathered to rehearse and record we were masked, distanced and the air was thick with the smell of anti-bacterial cleaning products. One of our sessions was postponed due to a possible COVID exposure. Our trumpeter had to record his parts at home and send them to the studio. It was surreal to record the way we did and we were all so grateful to be doing something when so many people were unable to do anything.
What role does Duluth play in your music?
Duluth plays a big part in my music. I love the outdoors and year round you can find me on a trail or on a body of water/ice. The natural beauty inspires music and lyrics. I get a lot of song ideas when I’m out running, hiking or biking. Duluth is also a rust belt community of the Great Lakes with a rich history of working class people that come from early 1900s immigrants. Generational poverty and mental illness are evident. The hardships we face in the cold north along with our histories is rich with lyrical inspiration.
What aspect of your own personal life did you get to explore on this record?
I really challenged myself to slow down with this record which is hard for me. I took extra time with each step. This past year I was diagnosed with Bipolar II and I’m learning how my highs and lows impact how I work on albums. Writing songs and performing has always been healing for me. This album was no different in that regard. I worked through a lot of emotion making this one.
Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
I find inspiration everywhere. Love is a Song, track five, was inspired by my husband Evan who is also in the band. I was making dinner one night and while waiting for water to boil the chorus came to me. Months later our friends were planning a wedding and asked if I would perform. I told them I had a love song and would change the lyrics up to make it a little less specific which I did. After their wedding, I liked the new lyrics much better so those are the ones that stuck. Now it’s a love song for everyone, not just me and Evan.
What else is happening next in Breanne Marie & The Front Porch Sinners’ world?
We are gearing up for our album release livestream on Saturday February 20th at Sacred Heart Music Center. After that we will start planning summer 2021 shows. We are hoping for at least a few outdoor socially distant shows. We all miss performing live and connecting with an audience.
Buy music: www.breannemare.bandcamp.com