Brooklyn-based rockicana artist JR Atkins will release his debut EP, Never Far From Lost, on May 1st; the heartfelt EP finds the young songwriter and his powerful band exploring memories of loss, abandoning self-control, and living with grief in the wake of tragedy. Atkins, who lost his mother in the summer of 2012 when he was 20 years old, spent his adolescence tumbling through city life in the aftermath. Now, he’s found a new voice and peace of mind as a songwriter, heavily influenced by the country and bluegrass songs he once begged his mom to turn off.
“Just Couldn’t Shake the Thought of Losing You,” the new single from the EP, focuses on the difficulty of loving someone without pushing that someone away. “About a year and a half ago I was coming off a very tumultuous summer; I had quit my job and was really feeling down on myself in general, but rather than doing anything productive I was kind of wallowing in my own insecurities,” Atkins recalls. “My girlfriend was away for the summer, I was really having a hard time without her. I wrote about those feelings I was having while she was gone—that I was pushing her away because of how much I felt like I needed her, but what I really needed was to be okay on my own and with myself.”
The song is a rollicking, upright bass-driven jangler, and the perfect soundtrack to a dusty road trip—a departure for Atkins, who cut his musical teeth in 70s-style rock and power pop bands. “I knew I wanted my music to have more breathing room, to do something quieter and really focus on more stripped down tones,” he explains. “I wanted it to sound like you’re standing in the room listening to us at a show, imperfections and all.”
Without further ado, Mother Church Pew proudly presents “Just Couldn’t Shake the Thought of Losing You” by JR Atkins.