Adam Jensen Unveils Wrong-Side-of-the-River Song 'The Mystic': Exclusive Premiere
Boston-based singer/songwriter Adam Jensen recalls the hardships of growing up in his new song “The Mystic,” which he shares exclusively with Billboard.
Inspired by a conversation with producer Christian Medice while they were in the studio, Jensen sings about experiences that he and others go through while living in Boston, specifically near the Mystic River.
“There are two main rivers in Boston,” Jensen said in a statement. “The Charles River is filled with rich kids and kayaks and rowers. The Mystic is filled with dead bodies and poison. In a way I feel like the Mystic River and the Charles River perfectly capture the dichotomy of the youth in Boston. You are either moving on up the Charles or you’re staying right here by the Mystic.”
In the song, Jensen sings, “Tried to stay sober/ Tried to stay clean/ Wake me when it’s over/ Like a bad dream,” before detailing a not-so-close relationship with his sister and mother and how they may not care if he said goodbye.
“The song started off as a song about myself and some of the hard times I’ve ran into. Just me singing the blues, like I usually do. But as we were writing I realized it started to capture many people’s stories from around here,” said Jensen.
“My mother has something like 12 brothers and sisters, so I have a few cousins and uncles and friends who have struggled with things like addiction and jail time and parole, etc., and one of those people is my uncle Johnny. When I was a little kid, I remember he used to live on a couch in our apartment until one day he got tossed into rehab and no one ever really saw him again. It is interesting to reflect on that kind of stuff as a semi-adult.”
Jensen said he also had struggles of his own growing up. He admits that after being kicked out of George Washington University and Northeastern University for fighting and stripped of his soccer scholarship, he would make money working for a bookie and selling “a little weed.” Stabbings, assaults, scars, arrests, robberies and weekly supervised check-ins were just some of the reasons he decided to make a change. “I finally realized I needed to turn my life around when I flew to L.A. to record some music.”
Jensen hopes this is a song that others can relate to his story, since it's a common one for some people and their loved ones who live in the Boston area. “This song’s message is really a common tale around here. It’s a song for the rest of us. The ones in the gutter. The burnouts. The misfits. The ones who didn’t 'make it.' The ones your parents told you not to play with at recess. The outcasts. The pariahs. The ones who slipped through the cracks. No one will know we’re missing when we’re gone, and we don’t give a f---.”
As far as what’s next, his goal is to keep growing as an artist along with “never getting stuck in one place.”
“Of course, I also have plans to not die or get arrested again.”
You can listen to the full song below: