A highly produced sound is all too familiar in 21st-century music, but Los Angeles-based musician Joe Jenneman escapes the stereotypical indie-pop track, taking listeners through a raw and untouched audible experience in his new song, The Villain. The young artist relies on his elegant voice and instrumental skills as the primary components of his recent tracks. As a self-proclaimed “acoustic storyteller,” Jenneman incorporates his West Michigan roots into his work.
The Villain encapsulates his guitar and vocal capabilities, illuminating an intentionally bare-boned sound. The track offers listeners a story about love, insincerity and loss that many individuals experience after a break-up. Jenneman alters between clean, acoustic strumming and short, gentle riffs, which serve as the prominent backdrop to his touching vocals.
The artist draws listeners in with a subtle yet straightforward chorus. With the lyrics “Well this is it/You get to paint me as the villain after all,” the artist succumbs to the powerless experience of what it is like to discover a past lover spreading lies about you to placate their own pain and sorrow. Jenneman reflects on how these falsehoods can tarnish your reputation: “You’ll tell ‘em all that I was never who I said.” But in his own words, Jenneman acknowledges the need to embrace this situation: “I know who I am and the truth of how things concluded. If that’s the identity I’m given, and the cost of leaving a toxic relationship, then so be it.” He openly accepts the pitfalls of past romantic partners and the result of his ex’s biased perspective of him and their relationship.
Jenneman goes beyond the typical reflection of what heartbreak entails by highlighting the intricacies of what it means to lose a person from your life. He underscores the loss of not only the love and friendship of an ex but also the extended life once had from their friends, family or lifestyle. The Villain matches his recent releases, which radiate an authentic, folky sound, with intricate lyrics that don not shy away from vulnerability.
The songwriter has established a place for himself on TikTok, where he provides insight into what his singles are about. Jenneman says fans can continue to expect new releases from him, and he has upcoming shows in California.