JEEN Chats Never Giving Up, Post-Pandemic Anxiety, & New Album

Many places are starting to reopen as more and more people receive COVID-19 vaccinations. But as things open back up, will everyone be in the mood to celebrate or will we all be too anxious? Jeen O’Brien, aka JEEN, used music to get through the pandemic and hopes music will bring us all back together—but maybe a little slower than some people anticipate.

“[The pandemic has] fundamentally changed us—this isn’t like a small little fucking blip that we’re all just gonna bounce back. We’re gonna be psychologically affected,” JEEN tells BTRtoday. “The talk of [shows] later in the year, it’s exciting and cool, but then I’m strangely also hit with this stress… it makes you feel like, ‘oh fuck, should I be doing that now? But everything is still so completely decimated.’”

The future of live music may still be up in the air, but that doesn’t stop JEEN from creating new tunes. She wrote throughout the chaotic year of 2020 and now has a new album, Dogbite, geared up to release this fall. The first single from the album, “Don’t Wait” (ft. Ian Blurton), is a comforting indie thrasher. Powerpop guitar riffs and echoing vocals shower all around you and hug you like a warm blanket. The track beautifully captures feelings of both despair and hopefulness in its shimmering melody.

JEEN lyric video, “Don’t Wait” ft. Ian Blurton

“Writing is cathartic, so I couldn’t really stop writing [last year],” she says. “It was like free therapy—I didn’t know what else to do with myself, it was either write or lose my mind.”

It’s a good thing she went with writing rather than losing her mind because now there’s new JEEN music to look forward to. Her empowering outlook on life also helps thrust her forward in her music. Though she claims it sounds cliché, JEEN repeatedly tells herself to just “never give up.”

JEEN ,“Deep End”

“I’ve done this [make music] my whole life, and a million times on paper I could’ve thrown in the towel and I just didn’t and I feel like that’s what drives me,” she says. “If you believe in your own thing just do it—like, fuck them and do what you want.”

Listen to the entire interview with JEEN on this week’s episode of The Music Meetup along with the newest single and past tracks. Also, make sure to follow JEEN on all her social media accounts to catch the release of Dogbite this fall.