Plus: Bareilles chats about her new album “More Love: Songs From Little Voice Season One” and what movies she’s been binging in quarantine.
When Sara Bareilles was pulling together songs for her new album, More Love: Songs From Little Voice Season One — the companion set to her Apple TV+ series Little Voice — she had a realization.
The album’s title track, “Little Voice,” was penned when Bareilles was 24, and the now-40-year-old recalls why the tune sat on a shelf for so long. “I didn’t have the confidence in the material at the time,” Bareilles tells the Billboard Pop Shop Podcast (listen below), “and now, with my vantage point in being 40 years old at this point, I look back on some of this material and I’m like, ‘Oh, it was worth singing! And I just didn’t trust my voice at that time.’”
The Little Voice series, which Bareilles co-executive produces and was created by Jessie Nelson, follows Bess (Brittany O’Grady), who is a struggling performer in New York City. Nelson and Bareilles previously partnered together on the hit Broadway show Waitress, which Nelson wrote and Bareilles composed the music and lyrics.
Below are some highlights from Bareilles’ interview on the Pop Shop Podcast, including her thoughts on the “beautiful” reception Little Voice has received, reflections on Broadway emerging from lockdown eventually, and why she’s been binging fantasy movies in quarantine.
We’re talking in September, Little Voice came out in July. What has the reception been like from your vantage point?
It’s been so beautiful. I think that, you know, when it came time to discuss when this is gonna happen (the premiere), you know, we were initially in talks about this before there was any lockdown. Before the world shut down. So, it’s an interesting thing to have made a show that somehow feels nostalgic. (Laughs.) The show that was never intended to be that way now captures this really cinematic, lovely, sort of romantic experience of New York City that we’re all kind of craving. I live in New York City, so it’s something that we crave to get back to…
I think there was something about that part of the show that became really precious to people. And also the show has such a tender heart. It’s a really hopeful, heart-forward show that has a ton of music. A beautifully diverse, interesting, awesome, funny, talented cast. So I think people… it was a little bit of comfort food for them. Especially my fans.
This collection of songs, it’s called More Love: Songs From Little Voice Season One, is out now. What was the songwriting and recording process like?
…I feel like this process was in some ways akin to working on Waitress. Where I wrote a collection of songs that kind of were intended to live somewhere else, and there was a part of me that just wanted — almost as like a rite of passage — to just complete the circle… And so I think the making of this record was similar in that way.
Waitress had an incredibly successful run on Broadway… Broadway is really hurting right now. I was curious … if you’ve been in communication with some of the producers, just some of the people in that world, and just your thoughts and what you hope to see over the next few months.
Man, it is just a staggering blow to this community that is so vital, I mean, to New York City. But I also think about friends in London, you know, in the West End, that’s another community that’s just devastated by this. I have no doubt in my mind that it will come back. There’s not even a question mark to me about whether or not the theater community will revitalize and find a new life. To me, it’s a question of when.
What art and music, and just anything, has been a comfort to you over the past few months? Especially in New York.
My boyfriend and I live together and we’ve done a lot of fantasy movie watching, because escaping reality — with reality sort of less interested in — we’ve been doing the Marvel movies. Kind of starting from the beginning and made our way through all of the superhero movies which are really fun.
Who compelled that? Is that something you wanted to do? Or was it more … one of you wanted the other one to check them out? How did you settle on doing the Marvel movie binge?
I think it was kind of one of those things where you’re like, ‘OK, we’re in in a pandemic, we’re in a lockdown. We’re gonna spend a lot of time indoors. Let’s go through…’ We did the Harry Potter movies. Then we got onto the Marvel movies. And we did The Lord of the Rings movies. We did a lot of fantasy. That’s been really soothing in a weird way.
Elsewhere in the new episode of the Pop Shop Podcast, hosts Jason and Keith discuss news of YoungBoy Never Broke Again scoring his third No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart in less than a year, the latest single from Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga’s new video for “911” and news of the nominations for the 2020 Billboard Music Awards.
The Billboard Pop Shop Podcast is your one-stop shop for all things pop on Billboard‘s weekly charts. You can always count on a lively discussion about the latest pop news, fun chart stats and stories, new music, and guest interviews with music stars and folks from the world of pop. Casual pop fans and chart junkies can hear Billboard‘s senior director of charts Keith Caulfield and senior director, music, Jason Lipshutz every week on the podcast, which can be streamed on Billboard.com or downloaded in Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast provider. (Click here to listen to the previous edition of the show on Billboard.com.)