Tenille Townes’ ‘Jersey on the Wall’ Asks Powerful Questions in Wake of Tragedy [Listen]
Tenille Townes continues to release music grounded in empathy with her new song "Jersey on the Wall (I'm Just Asking)."
The song is the result of a profound trip Townes made to a high school in Grand Manan, Canada, visiting with students after they endured the tragic death of one of their peers named Danielle in a car accident. Townes returned to the high school a year later for their graduation ceremony, transfixed by Danielle's jersey hanging from the rafters in the school gym.
During this time, Townes had also learned that her best friend's younger brother had passed away, along with a classmate of hers that was killed (also in a car accident).
The singer turned these tragedies into the powerful song, which asks a higher power a series of questions. Melodically, the rising star keeps it simple with piano, acoustic guitar and soft drums, her folk-style voice pondering such phenomenons as how a snowflake is made to how the world keeps spinning.
She doesn't hold back in sharing this heartbreaking story, describing a yearbook that's missing a senior photo and a mother who stopped going to church due to her indescribable pain. "If I ever get to heaven / You know I got a long list of questions / How does the sky change in a minute? / How do you keep this big rock spinning? / Why couldn't you stop that car from crashing? / Forgive me, I'm just asking," she sings poetically.
"This song, and its permission to ask God the hard questions, is so important to me. I think it's in conversation, and in stepping into that vulnerable place, where we find the healing we might be looking for," she explains. "I walked into the writing session with Gordie Sampson and Tina Parole a few months later with all of my emotions and the song found us that day. I'm so grateful it did."
"Jersey on the Wall" follows in the footsteps of Townes' debut single "Somebody's Daughter," inspired by a young woman Townes saw on the side of the road who was homeless. The up-and-coming star is currently on the road on Dierks Bentley's Burning Man Tour. She'll join Miranda Lambert's Roadside Bars & Pink Guitars Tour as an opening act in September.
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