Jamie and the Guarded Heart are about to hit on a milestone moment in their musical careers this week. On April 28th, the duo will release their latest full-length Funeral Song, featuring ten new songs that came about while the pandemic lockdown was at its worst, and a lot of people were at their lowest. The lockdown provided the breeding ground for these songs to develop, ideas that frontman Jamie Salvatore feels had been burgeoning inside him since his youth.

Growing up in his hometown of Philadelphia and how he viewed life living in the blue-collar neighbourhood of Conshohocken really provided a reference point to work off of. These life experiences of Salvatore’s are highly relatable, which helps create a sort of universal appeal to Funeral Song and the sentiments it is out to express.

Salvatore and his partner in crime, Morgan Russo, join us today for a special track-by-track rundown of each track on Funeral Song, in which they describe the meanings and inspirations behind this impressive spat of new songs.

1. “Black Dresses”

“‘Black Dresses’ is a song about processing loss. In the past few years, we’ve experienced a lot of it… and it just doesn’t get any easier. So, we wanted to talk about specifically what it feels like in our little corner of the Philly suburbs on the day of the funeral. Because while they’re all different, they all have common threads.”

2. “Running Scared”

“Running wild / Just a couple of kids / They didn’t believe us / But they never did.’ It’s a song about dream chasing. You sacrifice everything for this idea. It can really wear you out but if that fire burns in you, you just can’t imagine living your life any other way.”

3. “I’m Sorry, Too”

“We’ve been playing this in our live sets, well, since the first live set! It just has so much energy and Morgan and I finally were able to capture that feeling on record.”

Artwork for the album ‘Funeral Song’ by Jamie and the Guarded Heart

4. “Rain In Miami”

“The songs on “Funeral Song’ are super personal. Whether they’re stories about our life or people we know, they all mean something specific to us. This one is about the night we met through the small time we spent apart. Kind of the first chapter of our story. Life’s funny like that, you stick around long enough and you never know what can happen.”

5. “I Don’t Love You”

“We lovingly call this our “pandemic love song.’ We wrote it (like most of this record) while locked down in the house together. Morgan and I missed the feeling of playing sweaty little clubs, we missed the endless possibilities of the before times. We also wanted a J. Geils meets Tom Petty meets The Clash vibe and this is what we got!”

6. “Kiss Me On The Mouth”

“We’re both products of the alternative generation. We love (the films) 200 Cigarettes and Pump Up The Volume. While we may not live the full slacker culture existence, there was definitely a fondness for how it appeared from afar. This song is about a date between two bohemians. You know, Dandy Warhols style. Morgan took the reins in the studio on this one and her production ideas are some of my favourite on the record.”

7. “Keep Fighting”

“I’ve written a lot of incredibly personal songs in this band but I’m not sure if there has been one as personally revealing as ‘Keep Fighting.’ I lay it all there. This is a song about feeling like you’re running out of time on something you’ve pursued your whole life. Fortunately for me, I have a partner who’s fighting with me.”

8. “Until The Killers Come”

“This song has been sitting around for years and I love it more now than ever. During the pandemic times, we would do a weekly live stream from our dining room to stay connected with… well, other humans. We got a bunch of messages asking us to bring this song back and we’re really happy we did. It fits perfectly in the theme of this album.”

9. “When You Did”

“I wrote this song about my mom, who passed away a few years ago. It has the heaviest lyric on the record for me, which was inspired by a documentary about the Challenger tragedy. ‘They throttled up and the engines burned out / And you were gone.’ The story of that event really broke my heart. The pain of what those people went through watching that take place in front of them. It resonated with me deeply. And while it wasn’t the same, I related to watching my mom slip away in the hospital. Life can be so wonderful and so cruel. It gives with both hands and I wanted to talk about that the best I could.”

10. “Sing From Your Heart”

“I wasn’t sure if this song should make the record, but Morgan insisted. Now, I couldn’t think of a better album closer. Her gut is undefeated. I recorded this song in our dining room late on a chilly night. If you listen close, you can hear our radiator whistling in the background. I think it’s exactly the intimacy the record needed.”

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