Grammy-nominated songwriter J.R. Price is out now with his Nightmare EP, the follow-up to his debut, Daydream. Where Daydream was vibrant, exuberant and full of hope, Nightmare is the opposite. “My light has been completely depleted,” Price, who has recently sustained a devastating break-up, admits. “When a dream is drained of all its light, it is by very definition a nightmare. The darkness I have felt lately is unlike any of the other things I have been through, because I was given hope first, then had it ripped away.”
To those who say it’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all, he adamantly disagrees. “After heartbreak, I am the exact opposite of who I used to be. I’m full of shadows and hatred. I am mad all the time. I cry myself to sleep. I wake up every few hours. I can’t talk to my friends. I am living in a nightmare.”
The EP explores the five stages of grief, navigating through the dark, chaotic journey one must travel after experiencing loss; before ultimately, hopefully, achieving some level of normalcy. The EP starts with “Dagger,” about the first cut to bleed and the denial one must feel in accepting the reality of the situation. The second is the title track, about suffering through the aftermath of the split: the anger, the resentment, and the crushing heartache.
In “Tiny”, the third single on Nightmare EP and the first release from it, Price sings about coming to the realization that the love who diminished him is really the one who is miniscule with little compassion and a shrunken heart. The song calls out all men who cause pain and feel no remorse.
“’Tiny’ is how I imagine an Ed Sheeran angry dance song might sound,” J.R. Price reflects. A flute drives the chorus, guitars smash into the bass line, and the melody contains a hook of “N.A.U.G.H.T.Y.”, a song from his Daydream EP. “It’s an alternative dance track, if the club was in the woods,” Price continues. “I think it’s very intoxicating, witchy, sexy… and vengeful.”
The music video illustrates Price’s characterization of the song. It features Price and his sorcery sistas seeking revenge for his heartbreak by summoning his ex into the woods with seducing spells. “It gets steamy and emotional! I finally got to act and use that theatre degree I worked so hard for!”
The fourth track on Nightmare is “To the Ghost” and it brilliantly represents the fourth stage of grief: that of depression. It leads into the final track, “I Have Me”, a dramatic and grand rock anthem with real brass instruments and a backup choir, about self-love and acceptance.
Price calls “I Have Me” the most important song on the Nightmare EP. “It shows that positivity doesn’t mean letting pain go. It’s about owning the pain and learning from it. Carrying your baggage with ease.”
Through the process of writing and recording Nightmare, J.R. Price has finally come to the realization that the love he has been seeking from family and friends his whole life cannot be found until he loves himself. “I have learned that I must accept what I have been dealt in life and that the only thing I can change is how I view myself. I have to love myself. That’s the real message I received while making Nightmare.”
Nightmare is produced by J.R. Price, Ricky Allson and Grammy award winning producer Jeff the Jedi Master Jones (Wynton Marsalis, Eric Clapton, Willie Nelson, Alicia Keys, etc.). It was engineered by Brian Culligan. Feathers Wise, nominated for the Grammy this year in the Electronic Dance Recording Category, also worked on the record’s production.
J.R. Price’s “Nightmare” is being distributed independently. Visit JRPrice.org.