Singles roundup, thoroughly randomized style: Check out new songs from Jane., Lauren Ruth Ward, Cary Brothers and Jordi Up Late …
JANE., “Sun in My Eyes”
Singer-songwriter Ray Jain found his comfort zone in the world of lush dream-pop with the release of “What a Wonderful Time to Be Barely Alive” exactly one year ago. It followed his exploits under the moniker Jane Holiday (and before that RÃJ), which saw him working in more classic pop and pop-rock styles. His new single, “Sun in My Eyes,” is a collaboration with Jesse Rutherford of the Neighbourhood (for whom he opened way back in the day), and its arching beauty is undeniable. The song is the first single from a new EP, “Celeste” (out March 31), in which he delves into his identity as the son of an Indian father and a half-Black mother. “Sun in My Eyes” captures a dramatic moment from his youth. “I was involved in a fatal motor vehicle accident that showed me the preciousness of life in one quick moment,” he says. “It’s insane that the sun, which is one of the most cherished and beautiful things in my life, was also the main catalyst to this accident, one of my most feared and terrifying memories of my life. This song almost feels like a confession. Something so delicate and private, something that I am so fearful of being judged by. But it feels so important to share. It’s a story that is as part of me as my cultural identity. It’s something I can’t escape.” He plays Resident on Dec. 8, and he’ll also open for Suki Waterhouse at the Constellation Room on Jan. 11.
LAUREN RUTH WARD, “Mindseye”
In riveting fashion, singer-songwriter Lauren Ruth Ward reveals her “Mindseye” on her third single of 2022. It’s been well over two years since her sophomore album, “Vol. II,” and this song, the follow-up to “Suburban Ego,” finds her working with guitar whiz Andrew Martin and producer Matthew Pauling. “‘Mindseye’ is about being in a relationship and trying to figure out what parts are real and what parts are disillusionment for you and for the other person,” Ward says. “It’s a question that is always there, especially since we’re always changing. It can be hard to be honest with yourself and with a person you love because you don’t always know if you’re crazy or sane. It’s the paranoid part of being in love.”
CARY BROTHERS, “Neon Lovers”
L.A. fave Cary Brothers is prepping his first new album since 2018, but in the meantime his music is turning up in the medium that helped launch his career, movies. (Has it really been almost two decades since “Blues Eyes” and the “Garden State” soundtrack? Guess so.) The ’80s-styled earworm, “Neon Lovers,” appears in the new Dustin Hoffman/Sissy Spacek film, “Sam & Kate.” Speaking of paying the bills, we learned, belatedly, that Brothers was the songwriter/producer behind the “We Are the World”-type song in T-Mobile’s Super Bowl ad. “Do It for the Phones” featured Miley Cyrus, Dolly Parton and a cast of dozens and has to be (in the modern era, anyway) the best commercial jingle ever.
JORDI UP LATE, “To Be Your Friend”
The follow-up to her single “Hoax,” the hypnotic “To Be Your Friend” employs heavy synth as a counterbalance to the delicate task of shedding a partner who took her “to hell and back.” “‘TBYF’ is about experiencing the dichotomy of resentment and gratitude after falling for the ‘idea’ of someone and facing that your disappointment lies in your own expectations of a person who was incapable of loving you before meeting you,” Jordi says. “In the end I gave the benefit of the doubt by extending friendship only to feel my hand slapped away and taken for granted. Though I am resentful in the dark melodies of the synth, and at times in the lyrics, I remind myself of my own power in singing directly and unapologetically to this person. I speak plainly that loving one another was impossible considering his lack of confidence and that loving him was only worth it for the lessons learned.”