It was a “gnarly, gnarly process” (her words) that led Jaime Wyatt to her Shooter Jennings-produced New West Records debut, Neon Cross, but one listen makes it sound like it was worth the pain. Following a road that included signing her first record deal as a teenager, spending more than two-decades working clubs and bars trying to build a career, falling into drug addiction and eventually spending a year in jail, Wyatt has taken those turbulent life experiences to create the songs that make Neon Cross one of the standout albums of 2020.
“I tried not to have any filter with these songs,” explains Wyatt. “It feels like I’m gonna die if I don’t tell people how I feel and who I am. It sounds so dramatic, but it’s the truth.” The result is an introspective and honest set of songs chronicling Wyatt’s observations as she has made her way through life as a gay woman battling her demons while trying to be true to herself. “My experience with recovery made me realize I lost years of my life being in the closet and living a lie and trying to be someone else,” she adds. “I just can’t do it anymore.”
The result is an honestly introspective album that, while steeped in Wyatt’s Country roots, takes unexpected turns across all genres with ballads, honky-tonk Blues and straight-out Rock, in no small part because of Jennings’ production. “I have a pretty strong vision,” Wyatt says. “But Shooter would suggest some crazy rock reference on a song that I thought was clear-cut Buck Owens and somehow it would just be right. It was this real organic process of working together.”
A few of the notable tracks on Neon Cross included duets with Jessi Colter (“Just A Woman”) and Jennings (“Hurt So Bad”), as well as the autobiographical “L I V I N,” “Rattlesnake Girl,” and the title track and current single, “Neon Cross.” Support so far has come from L.A.’s 88.5FM, Colorado Sound, WAPS, WFIV, KRML, KTBG and more.