Co-written by Jenkins alongside Phillip Lammonds and Billy Montana, the string-laden, deftly melodic track was recorded at the home studio of LJ’s longtime collaborators and producing partners Gideon and Gabriel Klein, a.k.a. Shuffle Brother Music. “Luckily, we were able to record this before the pandemic hit,” says Jenkins. “Releasing my first independent track makes my heart feel stronger than it has in a while. I guess the dream is to be more careful with how we treat our hearts and the hearts we hold. ‘Cause in my experience, it ain’t that hard to break a heart.”
After parting ways with her former label in the wake of the Nashville tornado and at the outset of the global pandemic, Jenkins says “Ain’t That Hard” was a natural choice as her first indie release. “No matter where you go, everyone has a similar story,” she explains. “The details may be different, but at the end of the day we all go through the same highs and lows. Chasing dreams and trying to get by, love and heartbreak - they're all wrapped up into being human. Right now, as the world lives in quarantine, we can see that we are all experiencing similar emotions - from Texas to Germany and across the globe.”
At the end of 2019, I had this overwhelming desire to get out of town. So I headed West. Most of my time was spent in the car, just driving around New Mexico taking it all in. That's where I got the idea to make a music video for my version of Bruce Springsteen's "Stolen Car." I didn't have a budget or any gear, but I decided that shouldn't get in the way of the vision I had.
I think the backdrop of the West in all its beauty - and its loneliness, at times - perfectly captures the emotion behind the song. With the exception of one unused scene from my Running Out Of Road short film, all of this video was shot on my iPhone. When you have a story you want to tell you find a way to tell it. Hopefully this video helps you to feel this song in a deeper way. It's a no budget, no crew, no gear, no production representation of the essence of this song... at least through my car window.
I'm a sucker for a storyteller. Tell me a story about your joy, pain, love or loss, and I'm in. That's part of the reason why I have such a deep appreciation for Bruce Springsteen. Springsteen has a way of telling a story that feels like it's your story, too. Honesty and vulnerability seem to be at the core, and that's something I try to mirror in my own music.
Covering Bruce Springsteen can be intimidating. No one can do Bruce like Bruce can. So instead of trying to copy Bruce, I brought my own truth to these two songs. I got to record these tracks with my friends as I hear them in my head when I'm tumbling down the highway or falling asleep at night. I chose not to change any of the lyrics, but instead brought a woman's voice to a man's story. To me, that approach brings a different layer to the song and a different perspective. I think the stripped down recordings show just how powerful these two songs are… even when they're bare-boned.
I don't do covers often, but when I do, it better be a damn good song. "Stolen Car" and "Hungry Heart" are just that. They've been part of the soundtrack to my life and I'm so excited to share my take on them with you. If you haven't heard Bruce singing these songs, do yourself a favor and go listen to him, too.
Creative force and critically-acclaimed singer/songwriter Lauren Jenkins debuts her music short film Running Out Of Road to all digital platforms today. Running Out Of Road exclusively premiered with Amazon Music March 15 in conjunction with the release of Jenkins' debut album NO SAINT.undefined
Jenkins has always strived to be a storyteller first and foremost, through her music, songwriting, film and photography. “To find your future, sometimes you have to start by figuring out your past,” says Jenkins in Running Out of Road, the retrospective film she stars in and co-produced with her friend and the film's director Cole Smith. For 12 minutes Jenkins strives to untangle the threads of her relationship with a photographer (Jack Noble) against the backdrop of the American West. Shot on location in Miami, New Mexico and Cheyenne, Wyoming, “Running” melds narrative drama with constantly evolving imagery, as the young woman's memories fuel her fight to free herself and move forward.
Underscored by three original songs written and performed by Jenkins, “Running” is an evocative, accomplished piece of musical filmmaking that puts Jenkins on the map as an emerging artist with an uncompromising eye for storytelling across mediums. Next month Jenkins will also screen her short film at the Roswell Film Festival where it has been chosen as an official selection of the festival and will screen in competition.
Next week, Jenkins will release the three-part music video series that preceded and inspired the creation of her short film. Monday (3/25), she will release “Maker's Mark and You,” followed by “No Saint” on Tuesday (3/26). Wednesday (3/27), Jenkins will host a YouTube exclusive premiere of “Running Out Of Road” where fans will get a chance to chat with her on the platform as the video premieres. Fans can subscribe to her channel now for more details. Fans already familiar with the short film will find expanded footage and storytelling within the three videos, both answering questions and leaving more mystery behind as the much-anticipated trilogy is finally made available to the public.
Austin, TX was abuzz with all things film and music this week as Lauren Jenkins arrived at the intersection of both mediums, premiering her short music film on Wednesday (3/13) night at the independent Violent Crown Cinema and performing at the Austin City Limits Live Morning Broadcast (3/14) alongside artists such as Patty Griffin and Steve Earle. The singer/songwriter, who conceptualized and starred in the short music film, which is available today exclusively on Amazon Music’s iOS App, shared the cinematic endeavor just two nights before she released her first full-length studio album NO SAINT (Big Machine Records), available everywhere today.
NO SAINT found an early champion in New York Times critic Jon Pareles, who said the project “surrounds her most bitter tidings with gleaming guitars and bright harmonies.” The publication named Jenkins one of their “10 Artists You Need To Watch in 2019” alongside newcomers like Bille Eilish and Jade Bird.
American Songwriter also praised her performance with bold comparisons: “Her voice ranges from a grainy Stevie Nicks whisper in the title-track ballad, to a slicker, brassier Sheryl Crow-styled croon.” Noted AllMusic, “This hybrid of bracing pop, intimate cabaret, and dusty Americana on No Saint is invigorating, offering pleasures that are both immediate and lasting, while also announcing the arrival of a major talent.” Jenkins is capping an already remarkable week that has been a long time in the making with her first performance at the Grand Ole Opry tonight (3/15), celebrating with family and friends.
NO SAINT was a labor of love with tracks that Jenkins says are not only from her first chapters of coming to Nashville, but also reflective of her most recent. Jenkins co-wrote every track and co-produced a majority of the album alongside executive producer Scott Borchetta and Grammy Award-winning producer Julian Raymond. Other production credits belong to Trey Bruce, Matt Dragstrem and Ross Copperman.
“If you told me a few years ago that I was going to co-produce, co-write, and have a hand in the all the visuals for the packaging of my debut album that was also coming out on VINYL, I’m not sure I would have believed you,” Jenkins says. “If you told me I was going to get to combine my passions for storytelling through music and filmmaking by creating a three-part music video series that became a musical short film that’s been screened during Sundance and SXSW, I might have fainted.” Next month Jenkins will also screen her short film at the Roswell Film Festival where it has been chosen as an official selection of the festival and will screen in competition.
Jenkins has always maintained that her dream has not only been to make music – but to be a storyteller with her music, film and photography. “To find your future, sometimes you have to start by figuring out your past,” says Jenkins in Running Out of Road, the retrospective film she stars in and co-produced with her friend and the film’s director Cole Smith. For 12 minutes Jenkins strives to untangle the threads of her relationship with a photographer (Jack Noble) against the backdrop of the American West. Shot on location in Miami, New Mexico and Cheyenne, Wyoming, “Running” melds narrative drama with constantly evolving imagery, as the young woman’s memories fuel her fight to free herself and move forward. Underscored by three original songs written and performed by Jenkins, “Running” is an evocative, accomplished piece of musical filmmaking that puts Jenkins on the map as an emerging artist with an uncompromising eye for storytelling across mediums.
Amazon Music will be the first digital partner to broadcast the film. Beginning today (3/15), fans can watch the full film exclusively on Amazon Music’s iOS App. The short film hits YouTube and other digital partners on March 22. Jenkins premiered the trailer in late 2018 at Variety’s “Music For Screens” summit in Los Angeles in front of top music supervisors and teased an extended trailer earlier this week. View trailer below.