It’s not often that a debut record sounds as assured and powerful as Abby Jeanne’s Rebel Love. Released this March, the soul singer delivers a stunner of a vocal performance. In advance of her Cactus Club show on Sunday, November 12 with Thriftones and Abram Shook, the Milwaukee-based Jeanne discusses her debut, a busy 2017, traveling the world and her latest single.
On Rebel Love track “Aged Young (2016),” you said “2016 gave you gray hair.” How has 2017 been treating you?
My grey hairs have turned silver! Wiser and lustrous. More moonbeam, less pain. 2017 has been one of the most fast-paced, auspicious, and exposing years of my life.
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I find Rebel Love a mellow, meditative and very personal album. Would you consider these songs a method of self-healing?
Art, in general, is healing. Rebel Love is a whiny album. It was my first official debut, which I also recorded and produced by myself. It was a perfect match to get out tons of built up emotion and experiences. It’s very raw in many senses, and I knew sharing it would expose a glimpse of my life and the places I have been. So yes, it was a healing sort of whine.
Has your relationship towards these songs evolved over the past nine months since the album came out?
In this sense, I am a creationist, not an evolutionist.
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The mood has changed drastically on your latest single, “Cosmic Beings” (“Wake up/ Your heart is on fire/ Let go/ The future looks bright”). Do you find yourself more optimistic these days?
Honestly I have been lucky to catch optimism when I really needed it, but I am still a human forever growing. I have a serious lust for life and my reactions are expressed through my art. “Cosmic Beings” is certainly a positive song I needed to share, but all of the new music I plan on releasing will be different. “Optimistic” is just one feeling and I think feeling everything at some point is in my true nature.
Photo by Bethany Mog.
“Baby Roll’N Stone” was one of three songs used for the sponsor trailer at this year’s Milwaukee Film Festival. Did you have a chance to see any screenings this year?
I did catch a couple of showings. The film festival is one of my favorite events! This year I really favored the short films.
You have traveled the world quite a bit. I believe you just were in Thailand a couple months ago. Is there a place you’ve been meaning to go that you haven’t been yet?
My curiosity will drive me to any place I have never been before. There are three things I plan on doing for my entire life; making music, traveling and loving.
Do you think seeing these different places and cultures has affected your songwriting?
Of course it has! You learn great things from traveling. You learn about the world, history of humanity, our spirits, our strengths and weaknesses and most importantly you are forced out of your shoes and into others. It would be completely impossible for that not to influence my writing.