Portland's queer indie-pop artist Jessica Boudreaux is making her official debut as a solo artist.
The musician, best known as the creative force behind indie-punk band, "Summer Cannibals," has released her first solo EP "I Think My Heart Loves to Break." Boudreaux recently sat down with Celebritypage.com to discuss the recent release.
Despite its "pop-y" and "romantic" beat, the EP actually began as a way for Boudreaux to cope with her challenging new reality. After canceling a year's worth of shows due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the artist was diagnosed with cancer, soon giving her a lot of "downtime" to reflect on her new normal.
Struggling to process what was happening in "real time," Boudreaux looked to music as a way to escape.
"I think at that point, you’re just like, 'Am I going to be okay? But I think I got to a point where I just needed other things to do, I needed to be working on things. So I decided I really wanted to start working on these songs."
The EP, which consists of four tracks: "Loves to Break," "Actor," "Disaster," and "After All This," deviates from Boudreaux's punk-rock roots, showcasing a softness fans might not expect.
"I think they're kind of romantic; they’re also love songs. In the midst of the most intense period of my life, I was working on these romantic pop songs, and I think they just sort of helped me escape a little bit. And also kind of remember that I was more than just a patient."
Acknowledging that working on her music is what "saved" her "in a lot of ways,” the artist adds that "Loves to Break," in particular, is the feel-good tune she's most excited for fans to hear.
“I really love it. I think it’s just one of those tracks that makes me feel good and makes me smile. It’s been a while since I put something out like that.”
Loves to Break
In addition to the mental and emotional hardships the artist battled with her health, the project, itself, brought on a whole set of challenges as well. She not only wrote her songs on the EP; she took on producing, mixing and essentially "everything except mastering," granting her total control in a way she's never had over a project.
“My band is a rock band, and it’s very much a band. We make decisions together and put a lot of work into our live show. For me, the solo stuff is a way to really kind of let myself do what I want to do, and to explore what I can do as a producer as well.”
"I Think My Heart Loves to Break," which was released June 24, is not only Boudreaux's first solo release; it also marks another big "first:" her first release without a big tour following it.
"I have some mixed emotions just because I think there’s something really gratifying about being able to see people experience your music. But it's also really exciting because I feel like the pressure’s kind of turned down a little bit for me."
As for whether she'll set out on tour for her EP, Boudreaux says she'll "probably play some shows," but a full tour is unlikely. She told advocatechannel.com that, in the past, Summer Cannibals would perform 200 days out of the year, and she now enjoys the freedom that comes from being at home more often.
"I write so much more now because I can, because I have the time to, and for me, that is super gratifying.”
Now that she's a year out from chemotherapy treatment, what's on the horizon for the up-and-coming star? The answer's simple: A lot more music. She's currently working on several collaborative projects, while also writing the next Summer Cannibals album, which the band hopes to record this winter.
For Boudreaux, it's just the beginning.