Jodi Essex just premiered the music video for her new single "Unravel" and to celebrate we asked her to share the story behind the song with us. Here is the story:
Welcome to "Unravel." It's a song off album #2. Well, it's actually an EP. If you ask me why I'm doing an EP this time around instead of a 10 or 14-song album, let's just say it's the whole ball of wax that revolves around current culture, the music industry, the world's attention span, and "listener" behaviors on sites like Spotify. Let's face it. No one can bear to sit through a full length album any more. Playlist and the artists on them move way too fast and everyone is on to the latest and greatest.
Well, after a couple of album reviews for 2020's "Irreverent" came out, I knew heading into album #2 there would need to be fewer ballads. I mean, I am a rock artist right? So of course, the journalists writing the reviews wanted to hear more hard stuff. I heard things like, "This heavy rock song is in Essex's wheelhouse. We want to hear more like it." And, "I wasn't expecting as many slower paced songs on her album, kind of surprising. We want more rock tunes."
Can't please'em all.
But they did have a valid point and weren't altogether wrong. So, "Unravel" is one of the ONLY rock ballads on this forthcoming EP, due out in June. Thought I'd stay a little bit more in the rock fast lane and abandon my ballad roots - at least temporarily, ha!
I recall the process of when I had started to write "Unravel." I had it all lyrically complete but had yet to come up with an arrangement or melody that fit the tone and subject matter of the song that I was truly happy about. And no - this song, despite the title is not all about coming undone and going beserko. I can easily see how some might think that.
I really felt "Unravel" to be an important song with a universal message to Christ followers and non-believers alike, and wanted to keep working at it and not shelve it. At that point I thought I'd just take it into the studio when I was scheduled to record next and run it by Josiah Prince (my current producer phenom) to see if he had any inspiration or ideas.
On a Sunday in the late summer of 2021, I arrived back in Nashville again where this project with Josiah was being produced. I got settled into my hotel and prepped a few things for the studio session the following day. I crawled into bed and started thinking about "Unravel." I was a little irked that it was still incomplete. I finally drifted off in a slumber.
Fast forward to 7am Monday morning. My alarm went off. I just laid there staring at the ceiling, still in a hazy state with crazy hair, trying to recall the dream I just woke up from. Not one moment later, a melody for the chorus stanza to "Unravel" floated into my head and began to hum it out. Then I sang it out once to make sure I wasn't imagining it. I immediately reached for my phone on the nightstand and pulled up the voice memo app. I wanted to record the melody at once before it left my mind. And there it hatched! From there it was easy to develop the arrangement for the verses once I was in the studio with Josiah. So as I see it, perhaps interesting things happen when we are in an absolute state of relaxation, accompanied by hope, desire and a heart for God. Our minds are opened up and more vulnerable to letting go and letting things in!
"Unravel" is about peeling back our human layers; allowing God to see all that we are and letting Him in, seeking to be unraveled; being vulnerable in our transformative faith and life journey. The process of "unraveling" ourselves is a common struggle between what we'll find as we dig into our deepest selves and putting down our swords(defenses), so to speak, allowing God to change those findings - with a "no turning back" mentality. The song processes through our peaks and valleys, our darkest and brightest moments both; it's the challenge of choosing heavenly things over worldly things. We rise and fall against the things promised to us and shown to us, while finding ourselves at a crossroads, both of a faithless heart and a loyal servant. HE is merciful. HE forgives. HE accepts. HE redeems.
Unravel implores God to cradle us, "lead us to safety(lyric)" and lovingly dwell in a humble and devoted surrender...
See? That wasn't too crazy now was it?!?
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself below and learn more about the Jodi here