Telling the creation story behind each song in the Jem Kid Catalogue
Written: Late 2018, Oxford.
EP: Nearly Live, Jem Kid & Company.
Best line: ‘Odds with my body, / Battered and used, / Sink in the river, / And come out new.’
Influences: Alfred Tennyson, Lord Byron, Georges Moustaki, country blues.
I grew up in a world of born-again Christians. I was one myself for a long time. At the age of ten, I decided I wanted to be baptised into the Church. But at the age of ten, what did I know about feeling ‘battered and used’, about life’s residual filth of which baptism was supposed to wash me clean?
I don’t go to church any more, but I don’t regret stepping in that blow-up swimming pool on that hot July day. It wasn’t a rebirth, but it was an initiation into a community that would offer me a great deal of support and guidance in the formative years to come.
In the autumn of 2018, at twenty-one years old, I decided to go into psychotherapy. In the winter I struggled, but spring brought ever greater clarity and by midsummer I felt strong and ready to move on. The therapist’s final remark on the last day was that our time together had been exactly nine months. Maybe that was the rebirth I had needed, at last.
As an independent artist in the time we’re in, Jem Kid depends on people deciding that his music worth paying for, even though it’s available for free. You can buy this track and many others on his Bandcamp page: https://thatjemkid.bandcamp.com/album/nearly-live