Jetty Bones’ music is marked by contradiction. The vehicle of Kelc Galluzzo, Jetty Bones makes songs that are saturated with a complex mixture of pain and hope.
Galluzzo’s debut album, Push Back, out Feb. 26 via Rise Records, is a signature exercise in contrasts. In many senses, songs such as “That’s All” and “Taking Up Space” are a departure from Jetty Bones’ earlier sound. The record takes on the relentless optimism of upbeat pop, projecting a cheery hue on its subject matter.
However, Galluzzo still refuses to shy away from difficult topics. In spite of her newfound positivity, the material remains confessional and direct. The album touches on a wide range of issues, including struggles with mental health, insecurity and deep emotional pain.
Galluzzo put together a list of songs that inspired her as she worked on the new record.
The singer’s taste is also marked by tensions. The songs highlight a wide range of artists, including All Get Out, mewithoutYou, Catfish And The Bottlemen and pronoun. The tracklist sprawls across genre and time period. Emotionally, too, the list is all over the map.
The tracks also reveal a great deal about Galluzzo’s approach as an artist. Take Microwave’s “But Not Often,” which offers a direct look at vulnerability. The song perfectly represents Galluzzo’s approach to challenging subject matter. And it’s hard not to draw parallels between Laura Branigan’s arena anthem “Gloria” and Jetty Bones’ retro-pop banger “Nothing.”
“These songs were the soundtrack of my life while I was writing the record,” Galluzzo says. “It’s just as eclectic as the track list on Push Back. I feel like anyone that really dives into the record will be able to resonate with why I connected to these tracks. P.S. Please appreciate the transition quality in the order of this playlist. For your health.”
Check out her picks and full playlist below.
“Suicide Blonde” – Mallrat
Over the last few years, Mallrat has become one of my favorite artists. The EP this song is from [Uninvited] was on constant rotation while writing Push Back. A lot of the songs on my new record are written from the perspective of one side of me to other parts of myself. “Suicide Blonde” always felt like it could come from a similar place, like I could sing it to a part of myself that I was still coming to terms with.
“Fatalist Palmistry” – WHY?
I’ll never turn down a chance to listen to this band. I was existing in an odd limbo while writing the record, in regards to a personal relationship. This was the song I kept going back to. There’s a line in the prechorus that says “I am still alive, in love and wide-eyed in my time/Not a mummy shrinking in its cloths.” It always serves as a reminder to me that I am alive, which is a big theme on the new record.
“But Not Often,” – Microwave
I’m still learning where to draw the line between honest vulnerability and keeping personal things private for my mental health. When Nathan [Hardy] says “You’ve been spending all my time, and you don’t even know me,” it has always felt like someone is reaching into my stomach and pulling out all of my guts.
“FOOTSTEPS AT THE POND” – La Dispute
When this song came out, I was in a really dark place. I was struggling with abandonment issues that started a long-overdue process of assessing who I am and why I stay in unhealthy situations. I wrote “Nothing” around the time this song was released, if you want a little extra parallel. Jordan [Dreyer]’s delivery of “I guess you needed me to leave” made me cry my whole way to work when I first listened to it. Responding with an ’80s pop track after a day of this song provoking previously untouched emotions? Hey, we all cope in our own way.
“Insane And Speechless” – Moros Eros
Nobody listens to this band. I firmly believe that everyone should listen to this band. I listen to this song when I feel my mental health slipping. Although it carries some suicidal themes, it always makes me feel better. I needed an outlet like that to keep me in a healthy headspace. For the love of all things good and holy, please listen to this band.
“Value” – All Get Out
I’ve been playing music for a long time. It’s taken me that long to get here, an obvious statement that applies to pretty much anything anyone does. This is the best song to kick my impostor syndrome setbacks to the curb. “Not everybody takes this long/I can’t unsee it, but man, can you believe that we’re here?” That’s exactly it. That is everything I needed to hear to keep going.
“Idle Worship” – Paramore
We’ve all heard this song, right? We’ve all cried to this song in the back of a van before playing a sold-out show in Chicago because someone was being really nice and saying encouraging things, like how you inspire them and they’re proud of you, but you really feel like a total fake because you keep crying in the back of a van, right? No? Just me? All right then. Goodnight, Chicago.
“You Don’t Know Me” (feat. Regina Spektor) – Ben Folds
Two artists that I love came together to make a song that I want to shout to anyone who has ever been close to me. Although it’s relational, I put this song on a lot to bring me back from darker corners in my mind. It just makes me feel good, even though it sounds like a conversation I’ve had in relationships way too many times.
“run” – pronoun
When I started really putting the concept for Push Back together, this song felt like a voice in my head being sung back to me. The chorus says “You’re gonna run” on repeat. I thought about that phrase a lot because similarly to the title of the record, it can mean two very different things. Are we running forward, or are we running away? Was I going to keep running or give up?
“The Fox, The Crow And The Cookie” – mewithoutYou
I’ve always loved mewithoutYou, but this song has spoken to me in an ever progressive way over the years. I used to feel like the fox, with a plan and my wits about me. Then, acknowledging any amount of success made me feel like the crow. When I was writing this record, I started to resonate with the baker. It was like I poured my heart into creating something, and as soon as I turned around, these two conflicting parts of myself starting fighting over it, and I drifted out of the story entirely.
“Gut Feeling” – Peter Bjorn And John
Wanting to talk about conflict is a pretty consistent theme in the music I’ve released, so it makes sense that a song someone else wrote about the same thing would hit close to home. There’s a line that flies under the radar in this one that grabbed my attention the most: “I can’t complain when no one’s listening.” And this is why we write.
“Don’t Swerve” – Annie DiRusso
If you’ve never listened to Annie DiRusso, you’re making a huge mistake. The chorus of this song could break your heart and mend it at the same time. Do you need someone’s voice to keep you company while you laugh, dance and cry? I did. Look no further.
“Goodbye Earl” – The Chicks
OK, you caught me. I listen to country music, and that is not a sin. We listened to this a lot on our last tour before the pandemic. In the simplest of terms, I’m done writing songs about my abuser, and we like to celebrate that progress with the Chicks.
“Gloria” – Laura Branigan
I have spent the last two years telling everyone that this is my theme song. I can’t hear her sing “I think they got the alias that you’ve been living under” without equating it to my stage name. The struggle of who I am at home vs. who I am on stage is harrowing. I guess that’s why I accidentally wrote a whole record about it.
“7” – Catfish And The Bottlemen
I go back to a very specific memory every time I hear this song. I’m driving down the highway with one of my good friends, and we are singing with the windows down. We each fall into different harmonies, and the whole car comes to life with a cinematic scene. It was real, genuine joy that I needed more than anything. The song itself might not seem necessary to the record, but its placement in my process was.
“SOS” – GRAACE
If you follow my personal Instagram account, you’ve probably seen this pop up more than once. We all have a go-to sad song for certain periods of our lives, and this has been mine for a while. The whole song is about being in a really bad place and needing help but being too good at hiding it for anyone to realize. So, essentially the position I was in for the last few years.
“I’m Gonna Cry” – Matthew Thiessen & The Earthquakes
This one goes hand in hand with needing help. If you’ve ever been in a suicidal place and managed to get through it, you will never stop being thankfully connected to the phrase “I don’t wanna die.” If you are in a place where you’re still trying to get through, please use whatever strength you have to reach out. Sometimes your life depends on it, and I promise you that you’re worth saving.
Listen to the full playlist curated by Jetty Bones below.