INTERVIEW | Jaclyn Bradley Palmer – “Helping others is the best gig of all.”

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Singer-songwriter Jaclyn Bradley Palmer recently unveiled her new single/music video, “American Heart.” Originally from Ohio, Palmer is currently living in Dublin, Ireland.

The video, directed by Daniel Harper, highlights visuals from Grafton Street, Dun Laoghaire Pier, Temple Bar, Dalkey, and Killiney Hill.

Palmer explains, “’American Heart’ is a song about the never-ending connection to our roots. It is a tour of Ireland, and also my heart.”

Holding a degree in opera, as well as being a board certified music therapist, Palmer has performed on TLC, VH1, MTV, HGTV, Time Warner, Bravo, The Voice of Holland, and Ireland’s Got Talent, along with having her music featured on The Rachel Zoe Project, Breaking Bonaduce, and House Hunters International. Cleveland Magazine cited her as one of the city’s most interesting people.

Guitar Girl Magazine caught up with Jaclyn Bradley Palmer to find out more about how she got started in music, her songwriting process, and why she makes music.

What three things can’t you live without?

Bukowski poems, Joni Mitchell songs, Chai lattes, and my beautiful daughter, Roma.  That’s 4 things… but I could keep going… there is so much to love in this world!

What inspired your new single/music video “American Heart?”

I have lived in Holland and Ireland for the past 5 years. While the journey has been phenomenal, it also has me missing and appreciating all I left behind. Living far from home gave me a different perspective that turned into this song.

What’s your songwriting process? Melody first, or lyrics?

Most of the time, I write the lyrics and melody together. I sit down with my acoustic and try to just let it flow. Once I have the basic idea, I go back and work on the lyrics.

What do you hope your fans/listeners take away with them when they listen to your music?

I hope they hear the honesty and love I put into my songs, and in turn allow their own truth to be told.

You’re an American living in Dublin, Ireland. Why?

I’ve always loved Europe. I backpacked here with friends in college, got married in Italy and studied opera in Vicenza. So, when my family got the opportunity to live abroad, we took the chance…

What kind of guitar do you play? Any modifications to it?

I have several guitars, but my favorite is still the Takamine my father bought me for Christmas when I was 13. It’s battered and has traveled a lot, but still has the best sound.

If you could have any guitar, which would it be?

When I lived in LA, I discovered a Breedlove King Koa while browsing at Sam Ash. It had the most beautiful tone I’d ever heard and had this intricate, unique mermaid inlay. It was way too expensive for me to afford, but I’ve dreamed of her ever since. I actually do have a Breedlove today… it’s not the King Koa, but I love it still… in fact, I wrote my “American Heart” single with it!

How did you get started in music? What’s the backstory there?

Music was my first friend. At age 4, I had my own record player and I’d sit in my room for hours, dropping the needle on my favorite songs. I was always singing and listening to music. When I was 8, my grandma took me over to her friend’s house. She had an 8-track recorder and we made my first album. I loved making something permanent—and having some proof of a period-of-time — that lasted long after the moment did. I went on to study opera at Indiana University, but I was the only classical vocalist sneaking her guitar out at night. After college, I moved to New York City, joined a rock band, and the rest is history.

Which musicians/vocalists influenced you the most?

As a kid, it was Joni Mitchell, Tori Amos, and Alanis Morissette.

Which artists are you listening to right now?

Phoebe Bridgers, Lera Lynn, Noah Gundersen and Halsey.

Do you have a guilty music and/or entertainment pleasure?

80’s Hairbands. I listen to “Hair Nation” whenever I’m in a car that has Sirius. All my good friends know …

Why make music? I mean what’s the point?

I don’t think anyone chooses music. You hear it as a kid and you just know there is no other option for you. No plan B. But it isn’t just about making sounds and writing words… it’s about relaying the feelings that come with it. The world doesn’t need any more songs, but it does need truth, emotion and connection. Music is the best way I know to convey all of those things.

What’s next for you?

I may be moving back to the States very soon! Hoping to record an EP in Nashville with a producer I greatly respect, named Joshua Grange. I will also continue with my work as a music therapist. Through songwriting, instrument play and lyric discussion, I work with hospitalized patients to find their voice during a crucial time … and to be honest, helping others – through music that has given so much to me – is the best gig of all.

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