Alana Springsteen is trying to find beauty amidst the sadness. Taking her heartbreak and turning it into certified country gold, the Virginia Beach native is gearing up to release her new EP, History of Breaking Up (Part 2), on July 15.
American Songwriter caught up with Springsteen (no relation to Bruce) at our office studio launch party in Nashville where she set the party off right by gracing our stage for a few numbers. Ahead of her performance, she talked about her latest project, the follow-up to her 2021 EP, History of Breaking Up (Part 1).
Part two sees Springsteen continuing to explore her heartbreak, taking the story one step further. Springsteen has already shared several songs from the project, including the chiding “Me Myself and Why” and the similarly somber “Trust Issues.” For Springsteen, the writing sessions for these songs were some of the most important of her career, collaborating with friends and fellow songwriters Sasha Alex Sloan, Jessie Jo Dillon, and Nick Bailey.
“This project for me was my way of processing these breakups and relationships I went through,” Springsteen says. “These writing sessions in a lot of ways have become my therapy. I’ve learned so many things about myself in writing this project and honestly, I just hope that people can find a little bit of their story in it too.”
The latest single from the project, “Trust Issues” is an upbeat acoustic offering, complete with sarcastic remarks, thanking her ex for all the lies and leaving a scar. At the end of the chorus, she laments how much she gave in the relationship (which for the record, is “all of her love” and “even the truck”) while all she got in return was a long list of trust issues.
An all-too-familiar sentiment for anyone that has had their heart broken, Springsteen hopes her vulnerability in the track can inspire others to move on as well.
“‘Trust Issues’ was one of my favorite writes that I’ve gotten to be a part of,” she shares. “It’s one of the most honest songs I’ve ever put out. I went through a really tough breakup at the end of last year. I had all of these feelings that I knew I needed to talk about.
“Every time I went down to write about them though, I just felt like I wasn’t ready,” she adds. “I walked in that day, and I just knew it was the right room. The girls kind of had their own story similar to mine so we got to talking about just the real stories—the real lines.
With lines like thank you for the tears and the unnecessary drama / Can’t believe I let someone like you around my mama, Springsteen wanted to put it all out there “plainly.” Save for the metaphors and tropes, Springsteen wants to tell it exactly how it is.
“We just thought ‘how can we say this so plainly, and just so to the point,’” she adds. “I knew just because of how true it was to me, I needed to get off my chest. I couldn’t help but think there were other people that were going through similar situations.”
Another already released track, “Me Myself and Why” finds Springsteen still deep in the midst of heartbreak. This time though, she is sharing the blame, holding herself accountable for staying in a relationship that just wasn’t working.
“It was this moment for me, where I knew he was wrong for me,” she says. “I knew it wasn’t something I should keep going back to but, against my better judgment, I went back and gave him more time to tell me more lies.
“Coming out of a situation like that, you’re just left with all of these regrets,” she adds. “We just dug in when we wrote it, and it felt like the right way to start off the next project.”
What these two songs, along with much of Springsteen’s buzz-worthy catalog, make evident is the connective power of songwriting. Heartbreak is a usual suspect in any genre, but particularly so in country music. Despite how many songs are written about it, each new song holds weight. Why? Springsteen seems to think it allows us to sonically hold one another’s hand during tough times.
“We all go through so many the same emotions and that’s the thing that blows my mind about songwriting—the way it connects everybody,” she said. “All of a sudden, you realize you’re not as alone as you think you are.”
Springsteen made her CMA Fest debut this year, heating up the Chevy Vibes Stage in the heart of the party alongside Frankie Ballard, Copper Alan, Josh Gracin, and Nate Smith. Ahead of her performance, she talked about the fest returning following two COVID-related postponements.
“I am just really excited to play some of the new songs off of this project,” she said. “I think I’m more thankful than ever now to be in front of a live crowd. Having released music throughout COVID and not being able to have that direct interaction with a live crowd – Now it means more than it ever had before.”
Photo by Anna Clary / Sweettalk PR