Jerry Jacobs Releases Pop-Country Single “Backroads In Backseats”
Written by Hero Magnus
I would not describe the backseat-rendezvous as a passion of mine. Nor am I a particular fan of country music. So, I was a little nervous to listen to “Backroads In Backseats,” the first of two summer singles by Nashville country-pop-songwriter Jerry Jacobs. But, even my own rigid indie-alt mind has (very slightly) been opened, so bear with me and give this native-Charleston charmer a chance!
This song has really imaginative lyrics with not a single one out of place. “My little riding-shotgunner, dashboard drummer,” Jacobs begins, singing about his love interest from years ago.
The chorus is clever and buoyant, fitting in with the best of its genre. “With that moonlight spotlight / shining through the window of my fogged up ‘05 Camry / every memory’s like a midnight joyride / no regrets I won’t forget the way that you loved me / on backroads in backseats,” sings Jacobs. The lyrics are accompanied by a perfectly classic blend of guitar, synth reminiscent of The Chainsmokers and vocal harmonies.
“I had the idea for Backroads In Backseats when I was thinking about all the crazy things you had to do in High School and college to get some privacy. When we couldn’t find somewhere to ‘hang out,’ we would find the most secluded road we could and that would be our spot. It’s a nostalgic song that takes me back to some of the best summers of my life.”– Jerry Jacobs
Musically, it’s a terrific easy-listening country-crossover song. Jacobs reminds me so much of Sam Hunt, who wrote the “Leave The Night On” and “Body Like A Back Road,” country hits, but poppy enough to be easily accessible. I think that Jacobs has many fans in my contingent of explicitly non-country-music listeners, who try not to admit it, but just can’t help but sing along.
Jacobs also draws from the same infectiously melancholy emotional palette as “Tequila” by Dan + Shay (“when I taste tequila / baby I still see ya / cutting up the floor in a sorority t-shirt”).
Jacobs is a seasoned live performer, which is a great skill. There’s even a nod to this at the beginning of “Backroads in Backseats,” when you can hear snippets of Jacobs shouting to his imagined audience: “Woo! Let’s take it down the backroad for a second!”
In college, he booked tours for himself on every break and most weekends. Soon, he started interning in Nashville and honing his skills as a musician and songwriter. He released a successful debut album, “Carolina Tonight,” in 2017. After college, he moved to Nashville and he continues to perform every single night.
“Backroads In Backseats” is a raunchy, campy concept transformed into a sweet piece of nostalgia. Maybe it’s something about all of the past-tenses and the no-regrets: “we were hot like summer… / no regrets, I won’t forget the way that you loved me.” And the emotional / musical climax arrives in style in the second verse, when Jacobs sings: “never come a summer where we won’t be together forever in the back of my mind.” It’s hard to turn this kind of innuendo into something that represents real feelings, but Jacobs absolutely makes it work.
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