Juniper’s first single ‘Boys Boys Boys Boys Boys’ was recorded when she was 14 years old. Her new single, an earworm of a break-up song ‘I Was Thinking About You,’ finds the singer a busy first-year college student adjusting to life away from home and juggling classes, campus acapella group rehearsals, and term papers – so a lot can change in a few years at this stage, what hasn’t changed is the singer’s unique rootsy pop style, contemporary yet always reverent her vintage 60s and 70s influences.
On this single, a follow-up to her sophomore album She Steals Candy, which was released in January 2023, Juniper once again teams up with her dad, songwriter, and longtime WFMU DJ Michael Shelley. The team works out of their New Jersey home studio where the number one rule is to keep the music making fun.
‘I Was Thinking About You’ started with Juniper playing Michael some Harry Styles songs -and Michael being inspired to attempt to write something in that ballpark that bridged his own point of view with his daughter’s and Mr. Styles’.
Recording started with a sparse home demo that was taken to Maplewood NJ’s Storybook Soundwhere Steve Goulding (Mekons, The Rumour, Nick Lowe, etc.) added drums. Unlike most of Juniper’s previous sessions, on which vocals, bass, drums and guitars were recorded together, this way of working (piecing the song together) provided no chance to work up the arrangement as a group, but it did provide a great opportunity to really concentrate on the drums with no distractions, and Steve’s drum performance really shines on this.
The rest of the recording was completed at their home studio, except for the saxophones, which were recorded in Argentina by Guillermina Pagano, and the lead electric guitar which Isaac Holmes recorded at his studio in Wales. The piano solo was intended to be temporary and added just to show drummer Steve where the solo would be, and it was played on a cellphone with a mic up to the speaker on the free KORG piano app, but unpredictably its unique sound ended up fitting perfectly into the final mix.
The finished recording is a catchy, surprising, harmony-filled, and satisfying single that adds a worthy twist to the break-up-song cannon and tells the story of what happens when we can’t stop our brains from thinking about the thing (or person) we don’t want it to.