JADE JACKSON, the husky-voiced country singer-songwriter who’s been making waves with her particular caress of the country form since Gilded, her 2017 debut for ANTI-, has dropped a softly haunting new tune looking at the socially distancing rules that keep us from the intimacy of touch.
With a delicate hush she sings: “Six feet changes the way it was / Handshakes and hugs in a crowded space / Dancing with strangers and holding up beers / Tapping on shoulders and whispering in ears / Was taken for granted all these years.”
The story is that one night in 2020 Jade had a dream about playing a show, sweaty and crowded, at which no one needed to sanitise their hands. She posted about the dream on social media and got a great response from fans who were looking forward to returning to shows as well.
“Reading through the comments I felt the oh-so familiar nudge that a song was on its way,” she says.
“Later that evening staring up at the ceiling, the song – starting as a faint echo of my subconscious mind – grew louder until I quietly slipped out of bed and found myself in the dark of my living room holding my guitar.
“As soon as it was written I knew I wanted to share it with those who’d helped inspire it. Theaters sitting somewhere in the dark, tour vans parked, and people like me who see live music to escape, connect and be, I wrote this for you.”
The accompanying video, directed by Sean Stout, sees Jade performing the song in the empty Fremont Theater in her hometown of San Luis Obispo.
“6FT Changes” moves Jade’s story on from her last album, Wilderness, which was released in June 2019. That’s a seductive country set that examines the stepping stones we both dwell on and leap across while coming to terms with our senss of self, and how melancholy can be a powerful weapon, especially in a country song.
“Wilderness as the title of my album is this in-between area I’m in right now as a musician,” she said at the time. “I know where I want to go – I can visualize it – but right now I’m walking through the wild, still picking up tools, still learning, and making my way.”
Jade Jackson’s “6FT Changes” is out now on ANTI- across all digital streaming providers.