A family-bred musician from Maine and a former bandmate of ‘North of Nashville’ who toured all across the country to open for artists such as Dierks Bentley, Chris Stapleton, and Brothers Osborne, Jay Bragg has been built and trained in more ways than one to take on a solo career. In our most recent Swag Spotlight, Bragg discussed everything from musical influences to what drives him to be an entertainer.
The Portland-native and Bruce Springsteen enthusiast not only aims to reach people’s souls with his music but “to take a leap to reach a wider audience”. Bragg explains that he is constantly trying to challenge himself as an artist, a writer, and an entertainer which was what initiated the move to Nashville. “You just get to the point, you know, you’re a big fish in a small pond […] (I wanted to) really break out from the confines of a band situation, and just do my own thing as a solo artist where I’m the curator of everything– soup to nuts.”
A new chapter of music has begun for the steadfast singer-songwriter, after releasing his own debut record in June 2018. Now, Bragg has released the first volume of his second record Find Me In a Song which encompasses three new tracks. The album is set to release through three different phases over the next few months. The second date with three more songs is set to be released on October 1.
“When The Sun Sets”, which is a song that can be found on the second volume, is a strong and sentimental dedication to Bragg’s childhood best friend Tim who tragically passed away in a car accident at 17 years old. Tim introduced Bragg to all different kinds of music such as rock ‘n roll from the late ’60s into the 1970s. “That song starts off ‘I can’t hear Touch of Grey without thinking about those good old days’, Tim turned me onto the Grateful Dead, and Touch Of Grey is a song that we listened to by the Grateful Dead all the time.”
Eric Mallon and the artist himself wrote the song, which was said to have practically written itself. “I knew that I had tapped into something so deeply real, […] specifically, about losing a loved one and knowing that someday you will see them again- somehow reuniting with their energy and their essence.” While the song is a makeshift memorial and celebration of both life and Tim, Bragg acknowledges that the lyrics relate to all scenarios that deal with loss and the sadness that comes with it alongside contradicting emotions of joy, hope, and healing. “Everybody has gone through loss, it’s a recurring theme in life. There’s a ton of loss that comes through living, and I wanted to write (about that).”
Bragg has gracefully endured releasing new music through the pandemic and status of the world by using new, more creative methods to do so. The option of delaying the release of Find Me In a Song or waiting for the world to open up again was easy to dismiss because this is a “business of delivering joy and hope and goodness through music”. Bragg’s hope and prayers are simple: that this new music reaches all the people that need to hear it.
The first phase of his album ‘Find Me in a Song’ is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.
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