Jessica Willis Fisher on the Destruction and Restoration Behind “Fire Song”

wake up wake up. This is not a dream. In its first words, Jessica Willis Fisher’s first single “Song of Fire” expresses fear, sadness, recovery from the most vulnerable times of her life, and the realization that oftentimes things must burn to the ground in order to rebuild even stronger.

Following her sudden departure from her family’s band, The Willis Band, which appeared in the TLC series Willis family And american talentsAfter her father was arrested and imprisoned for sexual assault, Fisher was mostly elusive as she began rebuilding her life.

Fire Song, jointly with John Randall (Whiskey Lullaby, Tin Man), and first single from her debut album a whole new day, It marks a new beginning for Americana singer-songwriter. Although the theme of the song came from a real and horrific dream, the feelings of the song are not broken but more powerful for the artist.

“Just before I left, I had these nightmares that the house was burning and that I was the only one who could tell me, that everyone else was living their normal lives,” Fisher shared with the American songwriter. “I was screaming, get up. Wake up. We have to get out.” And now I realized it was me, trying to tell myself, ‘We have to get out of here.’ We started with Fire Song, because in my story, I didn’t start over until I went through that fiery part. “

Produced by Ben Fowler and recorded in Nashville, Fire Song fits with the theme a whole new day, Fisher says a group of songs is rooted in vocal sounds with elements of Celtic and bluegrass.

“I love art that has deep roots and breathes new life into old traditional cultures,” Fisher says. “I grew up playing the traditional Irish violin and singing 100-year-old songs. When I write the lyrics, I am telling stories straight from my life and also trying to provide glimpses of the global triumphs and challenges we all feel.”

Each song on the album shows a different way of looking at renewal and shares a different chapter of Fisher’s story, so far, beginning with the song Fire Song.

“For this song, I wanted to get past the danger and urgency that sometimes accompanies a fresh start,” she says. “For me, I had a horrible situation that I had to get out of to start my life. My dad was abusive in every way anyone could be, and although it’s a long and complicated story, I finally made the decision to come out at the age of 23.”

She adds, “In the worst of times, I didn’t really know if I was going to survive, and this song epitomizes the drama and darkness of the time.”

Starting with the chord progression and melody that Fisher was working through, she debuted several tracks that would become Randall’s “Fire Song” in 2020 during a writing session. “It totally got what I was going for, and we really ended up with something that felt true to my original idea, but took it all to a whole new level,” Fisher says. “I love his bluegrass roots and wanted the violin to stand out, so we played those elements while writing the song itself.”

In “Fire Song,” Fisher thinks she’s the one who sings, as well as the one who sings to him. Fisher’s vocals to capture the urgency of an uptempo track Let’s go, let’s go / There’s nothing left to save / There’s Bobin in the embers and the sky’s about to fall… It’s too late now to try to calculate the cost / What’s been done / What’s lost, Through the metaphorical movements of waking herself up to get out before it’s too late.

My childhood home also burned down when I was younger,” Fisher shares, “so that image was engraved in my mind and seemed like the most powerful image I knew to use to get into this part of my experience.” “

All Fisher hopes is that Fire Song will help save someone from a situation that may seem unlikely at the moment.

“Sometimes the only way to survive is to let everything burn to the ground and start over,” Fisher adds.

Photos: Sean Fisher

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