This was originally published in Fusion Magazine (El Paso Tx) in December 2010
Jamie Hernandez- EXPOSED
By A. Lawless
Eight billion adults on this planet of all different races and religions and the one thing they can all identify in similarity with is, heart break. Love does not discriminate any heart it breaks; it knows not age, color or status. Love affects us all because we have it’s warm embrace or don’t and it’s touch is inescapable. Love comes and brings with it bliss and hope, and when it goes only wounds and questions are what is left behind. How we deal with it and move on is easier said than done. Yet as humans when we it comes to our emotions we often carry a façade of no emotion. We tend to not allow ourselves to be open, honest, and vulnerable. When it comes to heartbreak we don’t want our emotions or feelings exposed.
Each person deals with the heartbreak in different ways but for local musician Jamie Hernandez, she sought to seek out those answers in her music. Jamie explains, “ A lot of my friends were going through different things and it seemed the whole world was having a broken heart. I wanted to write some medicine for that.” What evolved from this introspective look at her life and the lives of those around her came Hernandez first solo effort, Exposed. The 4-song CD captures her talent as singer, songwriter, and guitarist. There are no bells or whistles on this recording, it is a simple recording of Jamie’s beautiful voice and her guitar playing. A raw, unglamourized sonic photograph of her amazing talent. Exposed begins with the haunting piano opening of “Painful Ignorance”. A song of heartache and emotional defiance with lyrics like “I’ve given up on forever, forever has given up on me.” It is the moment when one has to say goodbye to what was and what will never be and simply go on, a theme that everyone can easily identify with. “All That You Want” and “When Did You Fall” are songs that deal with those timeless questions everyone asks when the relationship ends. The final song that appears on Exposed, which is available now on itunes, is “Pretty Ones”. “I distinctly wrote that song thinking about what a close friend of mine was going through and it was about pleasing other people. It was a wake up call for me to start putting my happiness first, putting myself first.” Jamie admits.
Putting herself first was the catalyst for Jamie to start performing these songs solo. In August she began playing coffee shops and local acoustic gigs where she was well received, but it was new territory for this seasoned veteran. Jamie revealed, “I was scared at first because I was performing my most honest songs I had written. I was making myself vulnerable in front of people, exposing my emotions to the crowd and I didn’t know how the crowd would react or if I would get any support from them. But now that I have performed these songs all these months I am proud of these songs and I am getting a lot of support from people liking these songs.” From these performances she recorded the 4 original songs but with each performance she wrote and added new songs to her solo set list. “The Grin” which is a stand out song from her shows is being recorded for itunes because it did not make Exposed in time.
Jamie’s main band is an original indie trio named Jayden’s Playground. In January, Jayden’s Playground will return to the studio to record five new songs for a Jayden’s Playground EP. The five new tracks are songs that evolved after Luis Ortega joined the group last year. Ortega was undoubtedly the perfect guitarist for Jayden’s Playground adding his talent to the monster drumming of Saul Ibarquen and Jamie’s mesmerizing vocals. Jayden’s Playground’s first release “All She Knows” is a well-crafted 12-song indie masterpiece, which is available on itunes. The five new songs are already fan favorites, once recorded they will also be available for purchase on itunes and at shows. Jamie says 2011 will bring more out of town touring for Jayden’s and hopefully more distribution of their music. She says she will also continue to write for her solo project and continue doing gigs. You can see and hear performances of the songs on Exposed or Jayden’s Playground on Youtube or at their Myspace and Facebook pages. Whenever Jamie Hernandez performs, whether it is behind the keyboards for Jayden’s Playground or for her acoustic solo gigs, she is definitely something not to be missed. You will not be disappointed.