KCRW Track Premiere: JR JR “Unwed Mother”

Ah, Valentine’s Day… is it a true holiday based on the life and death of a kind Saint, or the greatest marketing trick ever pulled off by Big Greeting Card?

Whatever your feelings are about the day itself, it’s hard to resist any occasion that’s so ripe for mixtape/playlist creation. You can craft a heartfelt ode to romantic love for your significant other, a heartbreak set to cry yourself to sleep to, a “Galentine’s Day” mix to celebrate platonic love… the possibilities are endless.

Amazon Music has tackled two such playlist options with their series’ “Love Me,” and “Love Me Not.” A total of 30 tracks will be added to these lists, and will include original recordings and covers from a variety of artists representing a multitude of genres. The fun officially begins on Friday, February 9th, but luckily for all of us, we get to enjoy JR JR’s contribution to the “Love Me Not” mix RIGHT NOW.

“Unwed Mother,” is a simple, lovely ballad that sounds incredibly romantic despite (or perhaps because of) the fact that it is about deep heartbreak. It’s evocative, and alluring – a brilliant example of pop music’s power to quietly devastate it’s audience in the best possible way. What could be more appropriate to honor St. Valentine’s memory?

Here’s a bit more info about how the song came together, and found it’s way over to Amazon from band member Josh Epstein:

“Unwed Mother” was a song that we recorded for our 3rd LP. When we tried to sequence it, we found it was tonally too different. I was reading the Rob Sheffield book, “Love Is A Mixtape”** and started imagining finding a half made mixtape from a former lover. Lyrically, I took inspiration from one of my favorite Gary Snyder poems:

Looking at Pictures to Be Put Away
by Gary Snyder

Who was this girl
In her white night gown
Clutching a pair of jeans

On a foggy redwood deck.
She looks up at me tender,
Calm, surprised,

What will we remember
Bodies thick with food and lovers
After twenty years.

It’s about holding on too hard to love, and then looking back in hindsight and not remembering the little details that got you there.”

**Author’s note: “Love is a Mixtape” is great, highly recommended reading that would be perfect for Valentine’s Day regardless of the romantic state you find yourself in.**

Both the “Love Me,” and “Love Me Not” playlists will be updated with these 30 new songs on Friday February 9th via Amazon Music Unlimited and Prime Music.