Always irresistible, but never this up close and personal, Jessica Simpson is returning to music with an emotionally raw new single.
After teasing fans for days with cryptic posts on social media, Simpson dropped a stripped down rendition of “Particles” by the British rock band Nothing But Thieves along with an accompanying music video that puts her vocal talents front and center.
“The whole idea of music heals is a very real statement to me,” she wrote upon the single’s release. “This song healed a broken piece of me.”
And it’s clear why. Simpson, who’s publicly spoken out about her past struggles with substance abuse, infuses the song’s emotionally resonant lyrics with an added layer of personal vulnerability.
“Flirting with an addiction I can’t shake off,” she sings in the opening seconds of the song. “My mouth is dry, I self medicate / This comedown won’t cure itself.”
Laying herself completely bare in the music video, she sits alone with only a microphone at her side, while surrounded by stained glass and flickering candles. The minimal set up allows for an unencumbered Simpson, whose personal celebrity has too often overshadowed her tremendous voice, to showcase her signature belt, as the song builds to a heart-shattering chorus.
“Baby, tell me if I’m being strange / And if I need to rearrange,” she sings. “My particles. I will for you / My particles. I will for you.”
“Particles” is the first we’ve heard from Simpson since she dropped six new songs in coordination with her best-selling memoir, “Open Book,” which hit shelves last year. Her last full-length album, “Happy Christmas,” was released over a decade ago.
Simpson’s new single arrives on the heels of a major milestone for the singer, who commemorated her fourth year of sobriety with a “wildly honest” Instagram post earlier this month.
Sharing what she described as an “unrecognizable” throwback photo, the 41-year-old said the image represented the moment when she decided “to take back my light, show victory over my internal battle of self respect, and brave this world with piercing clarity.”
“Personally, to do this I needed to stop drinking alcohol because it kept my mind and heart circling in the same direction and quite honestly I was exhausted,” she wrote in the caption. “I wanted to feel the pain so I could carry it like a badge of honor. I wanted to live as a leader does and break cycles to advance forward- never looking back with regret and remorse over any choice I have made and would make for the rest of my time here within this beautiful world.”
Pushing back against the “stigma” of the label alcoholic, Simpson noted that ultimately drinking “wasn’t the issue,” but something deeper.
“I was. I didn’t love myself. I didn’t respect my own power. Today I do. I have made nice with the fears and I have accepted the parts of my life that are just sad,” she concluded. “I own my personal power with soulful courage. I am wildly honest and comfortably open. I am free.”