BossBabesATX Founder Unleashes Singular Voice on New EP

Jane Claire and Butcher Bear collab on Sour Grapefruit EP

“People tell me who I am and who I’m going to be all the time,” says Jane Claire Hervey, founder of women-in-arts leadership group BossBabesATX. “Identity-wise, what was important to me with this EP was being very clear that I’m a fat-positive, sex-positive woman making art in Texas.”

Juiced: Jane Claire (Photo by Leika Aquinaldo)

On her first proper release, this month’s Sour Grapefruit EP, the Austin singer broadcasts a highly personal account of a traumatic relationship. With candid lyricism on the topics of virginity, young love, and self-appraisal, the four-track effort spins a prevailing theme of surviving emotional hardships. Meanwhile, Hervey’s south Texas roots in the microscopic border town of Rio Hondo serve as an artistic aesthetic, down to the regional citrus crop informing the collection’s titular metaphor.

“Anyone expecting a grapefruit to be sweet is a fool,” maintains Hervey. “A grapefruit is sour by default and we appreciate it being sour. I identified with that.”

Hervey, who performs simply as Jane Claire, has long worked in music: singing backup for a touring country act and training in percussion as a teen, then playing long solo sets while studying at UT. In late 2017, after she was abandoned by a R&B/hip-hop producer who lost interest in cutting a record halfway through the process, veteran music booker Matt Sonzala linked her up with Ben “Butcher Bear” Webster, a fellow artistic community organizer through his Exploded Drawing series and Insect Records.

Webster advised her to scrap the prior producer’s instrumentals and brought in a cadre of experimental beat-makers to build backing tracks around Hervey’s already recorded vocal takes.

“That’s how the album became super collaborative,” she affirms. “It came to reflect so many different people.”

Sour Grapefruit – featuring music by Reaganometry (Reagan VanMatre), Kinder (Mich D. White), and Out of Place (Maurice Barrett), plus overarching production from Butcher Bear – applies a Jane Claire lyrical attack reminiscent of both Erykah Badu and Noname over an artsy, electronic palette.

Jane Claire harvests Sour Grapefruit on Thursday, Feb. 21, at North Door, where she performs alongside Butcher Bear after sets by DJ Kay Cali, P1nkstar, Y2K, Kinder, and Out of Place. At the show, you can grip a physical copy of the EP, which includes an accompanying poetry ’zine.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More by Kevin Curtin
Arthur Brown Cancels Performance After New Zealand Mosque Shooter Plays “Fire”
Arthur Brown Cancels Performance After New Zealand Mosque Shooter Plays “Fire”
The Crazy World of Arthur Brown will not play at Waterloo Records today

March 17, 2019

SXSW Music Review: Leyla McCalla
SXSW Music Review: Leyla McCalla
Cultural folk chanteuse gives voice to the voiceless

March 16, 2019

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Jane Claire, Jane Claire Hervey, Butcher Bear, Kinder, Matt Sonzala, Out of Place, Reaganometry, DJ Kay Cali, P1nkstar, Y2K

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle