Before she moved to Massachusetts to join the cast of Jagged Little Pill—first in its initial Cambridge run, then on Broadway—singer/songwriter Jane Bruce was already fluent in the melodicism, ire, and sharp wit of Alanis Morissette. It’s all there on her latest single, “Song About You,” which dates back earlier than her time with the show; Bruce says it was inspired by an ex who kept showing up at her gigs after an uncomfortable breakup.
“It really threw me off because I couldn’t understand why he’d want to see me after the way I’d ended things,” Bruce shares. “I’ve rarely been the one to end a relationship, and in this instance I did not do it in a very graceful way. I’d been listening to a lot of Emily King at the time and trying to learn more of the jazz chords she uses, and I ended up with this vibey, honest, ‘I don’t need you, and you shouldn’t want to need me’ song.”
Bruce worked with fellow singer/songwriter Elliah Heifetz on the arrangement that ended up on her forthcoming debut album, My Bed (out February 11), giving it a “deceptively upbeat” drum groove to complement the bossa nova feel. Much of the record was written in Cambridge, fresh off a separate breakup that forced her to scrap her vision for the future and start fresh—immersed in Alanis as well as songwriters like Lianne La Havas and Brandi Carlile, she wrote to heal and regain her footing just as she had on “Song About You.”
“I’ve had romantic partners ask me to write them a song, and I always struggled because my impetus to write usually comes from something emotionally complicated or sad, so the final ‘here’s your fucking song about you’ is to every man who ever thought I owed them a love song.”
Hear the track below.