Jordana Bryant Reveals How Every Special Song on Her Debut EP Last First Came to Be
Jordana Bryant is one of our very favorite young voices in country music at the moment, and her debut EP Last First, which released last month, is the ultimate showcase of her talents as both a singer and a songwriter.
The songs are fun, upbeat and full of earnest joy, and we can't get enough of them. When we heard it, we knew we had to get the inside scoop on how each of these tracks were made and what they really mean to Jordana, and she was kind enough to break down all six songs for us.
1. 'This Love'
Jordana Bryant: I wrote the idea for the chorus of "This Love" right before going live on Instagram, and so I decided to play it. People really seemed to relate to the song, so I knew I wanted to finish it! I'm so grateful to have been able to write this song with Jesse Lee and Seth Mosley, and this experience really helped me grow as a writer. Going into writing with the two of them, I was so excited about this song, and after the session, I knew that this song had to be on my EP.
"This Love" is all about the beginning of a relationship. I feel like we all kind of daydream about young love, and so I wanted to express the joy and excitement that goes along with experiencing it!
I really love the lyric "feels like a riptide pulling me under" because I feel like it captures how falling in love can be scary, but it can also be really fun and exciting. A lot of people (including me!) probably wouldn't want to be caught under a wave, but if you're not in the water, you can't ride the wave either. I feel like that's kind of the same thing with love—it can be scary to let yourself be vulnerable, but if you don't put yourself out there, you won't have the chance to experience love!
2. 'Not Sayin'
JB: I first came up with the idea for "Not Sayin'" while sitting in my living room with my guitar. I remember I wanted to create a song that captured that feeling when you know you're in love but don't want to be the one to say it first. So, I first started with creating the melodies, and then I built out the lyrics to fit the story.
With "Not Sayin'," I really wanted to capture and share the excitement and nerves that go along with telling someone you love them for the first time. I feel like it's such a common feeling to start to realize that you really like someone but don't want to be the one to say "I love you" first, and so I thought it would be really fun to put that sentiment into a song!
My favorite lyric of "Not Sayin'" is probably "you and me dancing through the streets of a town that's already sleeping" because I feel like it captures one of those almost magical-feeling moments that a lot of people daydream about.
3. 'Last First'
JB: I wrote "Last First" with two other writers, Steve Fee and Jesse Reeves, and going into the session I remember being pretty nervous because it was actually only my second-ever co-write, but they were both so nice. I had the foundation for the song idea, and as soon as we started working on it, it all kind of just clicked and the session practically flew by. It was such a blast to work with them! And after that session, when we were building out the song, we really wanted to make the track high-energy and make it feel super happy and summery!
"Last First" is actually the third song following the story of the relationship in my first two songs on my EP —"This Love" and "Not Sayin'." I really wanted to show how the relationship grows and evolves, and so to me the idea of thinking how this person you're with could be the one felt like the perfect end for the "trilogy."
My favorite lyric is "shooting star kinda wish" because I remember that we had basically finished the song except for this line, and we were sitting on a Zoom session trying to figure out this last line that we had to finish, and as soon as we came up with this idea, we knew it was perfect because it almost has a kind of magical feel to it, and I feel like that really captures what "Last First" is all about—a magical love.
4. 'Little Ol' Me'
JB: I first came up with the idea for "Little Ol' Me" one night when I was sitting in my bedroom. I remember thinking about how I really wanted to write a song that was about just being yourself. Once I started working on the idea, it all just really flowed, and I finished the whole song that night!
"Little Ol' Me" is all about sometimes just needing a night in and preferring the simpler things in life. I wrote the song to share a bit about who I am, but I also really wanted to make it relatable to other people, so I really hope everyone who listens can hear a bit of themselves in the song!
I really love the lyric "Little ol' me makes herself popcorn when she watches a movie" because I feel like it really expresses how sometimes we all just need a night in, where we watch movies and eat tons of our favorite junk food!
JB: I wrote this song with Steve Fee, and with this song, I really wanted to make it a super fun song about telling someone that you like them and you know they feel the same, so they should make a move! Since I felt like the song really lends itself to a fun and upbeat track, we even added a little laugh at the end of the song, and I feel like it really captures the energy!
I wrote this song about being into someone who you can tell feels the same way, but keeps acting oblivious. A lot of fans on Instagram were telling me about experiencing this, and so I wanted to create a song that captured that feeling!
My favorite lyric from "Clueless" is "I know you ain't here just for the music" because I think it's a super fun way to say to someone that you know you're the reason that they're at a party or a dance or something like that!
6. 'Little Ol' Me (Bluegrass)'
JB: I decided to include a bluegrass version of "Little Ol' Me" because the song is a lot about being yourself, and so I felt like a bluegrass version would also show more of who I am because I love authentic live music, and I feel like bluegrass does an awesome job with that!
I think that the different instrumentation makes the song even more of a song about being a simple, small-town person and kind of gives the song more of a live and authentic feel.
Can't get enough of the EP? Click HERE to read our interview with Jordana for an even deeper dive on "Not Sayin'."