Hailing from New York City, the scrappy rock band The Jones Title releases the first poignant single, "Lonely," off their forthcoming second installment of four EPs.
Percussionist Justin Gray wanted to take advantage of the rehearsal facilities during his role as a teaching assistant and Carnegie Hall's education program, leading him to reach out to childhood friend and vocalist Brian Detlefs. Detlefs spoke with bassist Roger Mulligan about playing together, and Mulligan knew guitarist Joey Vaughan wanted in.
From there, the rest is history. The Jones Title is in the middle of releasing a double album over four EPs, and their latest single, "Lonely," marks the second EP installment. This song was written and sung by guitarist Joey Vaughan and depicts the painful situation of parting ways with someone he spent half his life with, only to realize the effect loneliness has on his view of the world.
Hitting play on the new vulnerable single, "Lonely," the song peacefully opens with Vaughan's melodic and sparkling lead guitar, setting the moody and heartfelt tone. As he begins to showcase his soothing, warm, and wistful vocals, he lets us in on the troubling thoughts of feeling like he lost a genuine part of himself.
As The Jones Title slowly but surely makes its way in, the song's atmosphere lifts into this soulful and chilling sonic landscape that perfectly portrays those life-altering moments. We adore how The Jones Title started slow and built this sense of anticipation that carries us into the dreamy, dynamic, and lush outro.
We truly appreciate the raw and calming emotion of The Jones Title's latest single, "Lonely." Be sure to catch the single on all digital streaming platforms and stay up to date with The Jones Title as they announce their forthcoming EP.
We genuinely appreciate such a raw and honest single like "Lonely." What inspired your group to take it down a notch and create this emotional slow-burn piece?
The song itself was actually written way before the band even knew each other and intended for a different musical project altogether. I think Justin and I (Joey) were living together for a brief period and sharing ideas in the apartment back and forth. When I played it for him, it was just a stripped-down, almost Townes Van Zandt style and direction. I heard a quiet, unassuming, and lonesome tune, but Justin and Brian got really psyched on the idea of layering all these parts and revealing them one by one that lead to these big choruses. I had no other plans for the tune when we recorded so we sort of just went with it and let it happen. We weren’t really sure about putting on the record until we added drums to it in the second session. We were kind of feeling it out, but once we heard where it could go we dove in.
Regarding Joey Vaughan's sincere songwriting, what was your experience writing and singing "Lonely?" Was this your first time tackling that process as a part of The Jones Title?
Not to be dramatic, but it was written at the end of a relationship as you can probably guess. And if you’re going to write a song about a relationship ending, I figured it was probably more interesting to write about a relationship that lasted half a lifetime, like two people who know each other so well that it’s almost a shared identity. A couple who have grown apart as they start to go grey and it feels like it’s the last person you’re going to get to know. The truth though is that no matter how long anything lasts, isolation for any stretch can feel so permanent. It’s interesting that everyone in the band supported this song so much at a time when a lot of us were kind of forced into very lonely positions, and sometimes even reconsidering our definitions of the word, due to the conditions of the world. It’s probably not just coincidental, but either way, I think it hits at a feeling that is very universal and prevalent in our world these days.
Could you expand on your band's creative process when creating the dreamy and chilling instrumentals for "Lonely?" What sort of atmosphere and vibe did your band want the song to emit?
It was….and I have another song that will be on the record down the line that has a very different arrangement, but this was the first time I took a song to the band and we threw it through our process. I mentioned I didn’t have other plans for it really, so it was really interesting to just let go and follow it down the rabbit hole. It can be a challenge to let go of an idea you have of a song completely and watch it become something you never considered. And credit to Brian, who writes the majority of our songs and the process is essentially the same for every single one. So it almost made it easier for me since I saw what we can do with raw ideas, which made it much easier to trust the band with it too. Expansive while remaining personal. We wanted to blend the intimacy of Joey’s original solo arrangement with a more sweeping, almost cosmic wash of sound, like if we capture what it would sound like if you could hear the Earth turn on its axis. We hope that someone listening might get the feeling of staring into a cloudless night sky with a ton of stars. Hopefully, those choices juxtapose the heartbreakingly understated and personal nature of Joey’s vocal performance and lyrics. In pursuit of all that we basically mixed as we arranged. We threw a ton of different colors at the song through different tracking layers and then carved away at it until the song took shape. We added about three electric guitar layers, 2 guitars in Nashville tuning, a synth pad, 5 backing vocal layers, and probably more we’re forgetting at this point. Justin ran the board for a majority of those sessions, and he and (Producer) Dave (Rosenberg) definitely kept us from this one just becoming a slur.
How does "Lonely" fit into the concept and theme of your forthcoming EP? Why did you choose to release the song as the lead single?
Lonely really captures the feel of the next EP, because it’s really meant to be the nadir of the entire project’s narrative. The entire Birkenhead Drill series is all based around this loose narrative of ego death, and this second EP is really meant to capture that moment of change when everything feels a little aimless and hopeless. Lonely really is the harbinger of that feeling, because probably the first trick our brains play on ourselves is convincing us that we’re somehow alone in our pain, that we’re somehow uniquely or irreparably damaged. We really feel like Lonely just perfectly captures that feeling that so many of us can end up feeling around this time of the year, and we think it’s important to lean into it when you need to. It’s about letting yourself admit where you’re at so you can chart your path forward. And we’re super excited about the stuff we’ve got scheduled ahead of us. Our first few singles and the entire first EP were really rocked n' roll. Very much in the kind of modern indie/alternative rock sense. While creating Birkenhead and the concept to release the multiple Ep’s we tried to group the songs in a certain way that will complement each other. With the second EP and this single, we really wanted to switch it up and give you something different from the first EP while still giving you The Jones Title feel. The hope is that every time we put something out there’s a certain level of anticipation surrounding what corner of our sound we’re going to push to the forefront. We take a lot of pride in creating music that feels expansive and dynamic. With everything we released on the first EP, Lonely just feels like the perfect way to pivot and really show off something completely different. We promise to continue this idea with the last few EP’s as well.
What can listeners anticipate next from you?
A deeper dive into some of the ideas that we’ve started to explore with Lonely for sure. But also a lot more evolution and growth. We’ve been looking at this whole first run of EP’s as really defining what the Jones Title’s sound exactly is. We think there’s a lot more we have to offer and we’re super excited to share it all with the world. We’ve got two more EP’s on the horizon, and our debut album, Birkenhead Drill, which we hope is going to encapsulate this work in a lot of really cool ways. We’re pretty jazzed for everyone to hear what we’ve got to share.