Catching Up with Jessica Boudreaux on Music, Life, and T-Swift

Photo of Jessica Boudreaux – person seated on the floor with arm resting on amplifier and posed next to a disco ball on the floor.

About a week before Jessica Boudreaux’s new EP, I Think My Heart Loves to Break, was released, I was able to catch up with Jessica through the magic of Zoom. 

In addition to her solo releases, Jessica is also in one of my favorite local bands, Summer Cannibals. During our chat, we talked about the process of creating the new EP, her recent SPIN article on why she may never return to touring following her cancer diagnosis, Taylor Swift, and the music she’s loving at the moment.

“I was making an album and was kind of getting to this point with the songs where I was getting to the point with the songs that if I continue with this play to put this out as an album, I’m never going to,” she said. “I was never feeling finished, so I decided to break it into multiple EPs.”

Jessica spent the past two years writing a lot and then spending time in her home studio “trying things, deleting things, and trying things again,” as she puts it. 

While creating new music, Jessica also collaborated with Stevie from Adult Mom to release a cover of Taylor Swift’s “Cruel Summer” in early June. “That song in particular, I just love the chorus and the bridge,” she said, and added that she wanted to do something upbeat and fun. “That song is kind of cathartic and I find that song has that feeling … it has little shouty bridges and I just think it’s such a catchy song.” While Jessica didn’t get into T-Swift until later, she is now a big fan.

Just as COVID-19 was shutting down virtually every venue in a matter of weeks in mid-March 2020, Summer Cannibals were about to hit the road to tour. The forced end of the tour plans ended up being a relief in a way. “In the group, where all of us were feeling really drained … and you kind of feel like you can’t stop like this,” she said. “I think everyone felt really burned out. The year before we had over 200 days out of the year and we wouldn’t have stopped because we just kept getting support slots.”

And then, in October 2020, Jessica discovered a lump in her breast, and after three biopsies, was diagnosed with breast cancer. (Thankfully, she’s completed chemo and is doing well.)

Jessica began writing about her cancer and facing death in a way she’d never thought about as part of creating music for a new Summer Cannibals album. “There’s so much comfort and safety being able to do that with this group instead of all alone,” she said. 

While touring isn’t in the cards in the near future, Summer Cannibals are doing a one-off show at Mississippi Studios in September 2022. “As a performer, I seem to make more of an impact live, which is too bad that I don’t want to tour anymore,” she said. But, that isn’t stopping the music – Jessica mentioned the band is planning to record new music over the winter.

Jessica’s new EP, I Think My Heart Loves to Break, is out now on Bandcamp and available on streaming services. Follow her on Instagram. You can also check out Summer Cannibals on Bandcamp or at your favorite independent record store!

Want to listen to the full interview with Jessica Boudreaux? Check it out on Mixcloud.

Random Citizen