Singled Out: Jess Jocoy's Castles Made Of Sand

Michael Angulia | 04-10-2020

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Jess Jocoy

Jess Jocoy released her debut album "Such a Long Way," this week and to celebrate we asked her to tell us about the song "Castles Made Of Sand". Here is the story:

I've chosen to write about my song "Castles Made of Sand" from my debut full-length record Such A Long Way because it's the song that presented the most formidable challenge to write.

I've always admired songwriters (or any kind of writer for that matter) who could take on the point of view of someone else; in this case, the opposite gender. Sometimes, I feel like there's an unsung stigma that songwriters become rooted in a lane, if you will, when it comes to perspective. "Castles Made of Sand" was my left turn.

The song is based on a story between a son and his father. I am very much a daughter rather than a son, but I do know that often, the relationship between fathers and sons can be disharmonious, if not tumultuous. At least, for better or worse, from what I've observed of my own family. This song follows the story of a son whose father is a career military-man. From the beginning, it's evident that the father is disappointed with the son, for either not living up to his expectations, or knowing his son isn't living up to his potential. But, we're seeing this story from the son's perspective, rather than the father's. I think that's a really crucial part, because, traditionally, it would seem logical to make the son the protagonist of our story, but really, we come to find he's kind of an ass, be it for the sake of youth or whatever. I like the idea that: just because the song is about this kid from the kid's perspective, it doesn't mean he has to be right or the good guy. Really, his father's just been trying to do the best he can, albeit, with the hopes his son will follow his same career path, but all the son focuses on are the times his father couldn't fully come back from the war; when the war was still raging in his mind. Thinking his father's been doing nothing but accruing his lifetime on nothing more than "castles made of sand," the son struggles to forgive and in that struggle, he resists, I've seen a father and son face that same issue of forgiveness. Years can go by of harboring resentment. It just seems like a terrible thing. By the end of the song, the son starts to see that maybe he wasn't justified in his rebellion after all, but by that time, it was too late to make amends.

When I took this song into the producers (Mike Rinne and Dylan Alldredge), I told them I wanted the sonic landscape to be as heavy as the subject matter. I wanted this song to make you put down your phone, for however many - four - minutes, and listen; take in the story. When the band got together, from the first take I knew they were speaking my language. That opening electric feels almost like a warning signal to let you know something deep coming. I feel like the whole song is a punch in the gut, lyrically and instrumentally. I'm so proud of the work we did and I can't wait for folks to hear it!

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself right here!

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