New Sounds: Emma Jayne cheerfully rides solo on ‘Tandem Bike’



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Sara Bareilles broke into mainstream radio in 2007 with a song about refusing to write another damn cookie cutter love song for her breakthrough album, Little Voice. Ten years later, Chicago-based Boston University student Emma Jayne is doing something that’s not all that different, both thematically and stylistically.

Jayne’s video for “Tandem Bike,” an ode to being positively self-sufficient, dropped today (September 7), representing a snippet of her forthcoming album Jetlag, due September 22. Aside from being helplessly catchy, Jayne’s second release from her new album is a bright-eyed exuberance of confidence and offers much-needed sunshine to 2017.

“It’s time to sing a song that doesn’t make me feel like trash,” she croons soulfully in the first verse, building upon her optimistic vibes.

“This is my first music video and I wanted it to be as authentic as I strive to be every day,” Jayne says. “That being said, we featured a lot of bright colors, my ugly thrift-store dachshund shirt, and my goofy dance moves. A glam, sexy video was never an option in my mind, not because I don’t love a good glam, sexy video, but because it didn’t feel true to me. I feel like a 12-year-old in a 21-year-old’s body, and this video is all about embracing your weird, your childishness, your mistakes, and what makes you awesome.”

But “Tandem Bike” isn’t just a nod to romantic independence — it celebrates fostering independence in everything you do in general. As far as Top 40 hits go, that theme of autonomy is almost nonexistent, except for the occasional “you should love yourself!” song that tacks onto the self-confidence-pop trend. The rest of the time, it’s “girls, girls, girls” (or “boys, boys, boys” — we don’t discriminate), and Jayne isn’t here for that kind of narrative.

“The line ‘fine on my own’ in the chorus isn’t necessarily about being single.. it’s about relying on yourself,” Jayne explains. “I’ve had a hard time trusting my gut, my heart, and being decisive and this song was extremely cathartic for me on my journey towards self-trust. We are young and we are navigating adulthood and it’s hard to know if we’re doing the “right” thing. This song is all about trusting yourself and not needing anybody else to make those big decisions for you. Community is one of my biggest values, and I am in no way suggesting complete independence and isolation is the way to go. But you need to love yourself, trust yourself, and be your own cheerleader first…your community, friends, family, romantic partners…they are just there to echo and amplify the love you already feel for yourself.”

Start your Thursday with some good vibes from Jayne’s debut music video below.