Jake Walden wants you to know that while he might be
bleeding love, he’s not broken. The Northern California
native is thoughtful, warm, and genuine, something that comes across clearly in
his frequent blog posts and intimate YouTube videos. His voice ranges between a
gravelly rasp and angelic falsettos, but it’s his simple, beautiful melodies
and introspective lyrics that really grab you by the heart and don’t let go.
On October 20, the out singer-songwriter released a new single
— a tender cover of Leona Lewis’s "Bleeding Love," recorded as a duet
— and re-released his debut album, Alive
and Screaming, with additional live tracks. But it’s another tune that
might soon be stealing the spotlight. He’s hoping one of his other songs will become
a marriage-rights anthem … and he needs your help to make it happen.
AfterElton.com sat down recently with Jake to discuss his
new album, his views on being a gay artist, the birth of an anthem, and whether
or not he’s available.
AfterElton.com: Hi Jake, congratulations on the new CD!
Jake Walden: Well, thanks, man! I’m pretty excited. It’s been a long time
coming to re-release the album with these live tracks and with "Bleeding
Love." It took us like a year to get permission to do it.
AE: How did the "Bleeding Love" cover
JW: It was literally almost a year ago, Bonnie [Somerville]
and I had been doing some shows in L.A. and New York. She is an
amazing singer and songwriter in her own right. We were going to try to do some
shows, so she came over to my little apartment, and we worked on some
background vocals for "The Line" and "Wide Awake." Then she
said, "I really want to do a cover song with you. Don’t laugh, but I want
us to do ‘Bleeding Love.’" It was a huge song at that time. And me being,
I don’t know, somewhat hippy pretentious, was like, "I’m not doing some
slick pop song." [laughs]
She left, then late that night, I sat at the piano and just
started to kind of figure it out and play it. And suddenly, I was just like,
"Oh my God, this is beautiful!" It’s really haunting. She came over
the next day, and sat on the piano bench next to me, and we just started to
sing. It was just one of those moments. It was like our voices were meant to be
together. We got to the chorus and started singing the harmonies and it was
like the male and female version of the same voice.
AE: Will there be a video for "Bleeding
JW: Yes. It’s out now. It was done by an amazing animator, graphic designer
friend of mine, Holly. It is the most amazing, beautiful, haunting piece of
work. I always talk about my favorite book being The Giving Tree, and one of the things I love about the book are
the picture Shel Silverstein had drawn, so the style came from that kind of
look. Very simple, but the story follows the two characters through many eras,
five hundred years of unrequited love. I think people will be blown away by the