MartiJane honors her late father with her new song “Haunted House.” The mournful, reflective track — premiering exclusively on The Boot — looks at how her family is coping since losing its patriarch in May, and how what’s happened throughout our lives stays with us all.
Written by the artist and produced by Troy Harmon, “Haunted House” began as a way for MartiJane to process her father’s death. Over a melody featuring dobro courtesy of Josh Matheny, she sings about saying goodbye to her dad and returning home, to a house full of memories: ”It ain’t the same here / The air don’t feel right, no / I stay in Nashville / She sleeps with the light on / We hold each other / And promise one day it’ll all make sense / While we try to get used to the sound of his name in past tense,” goes the chorus.
A second verse, though, expands the idea: It’s MartiJane’s body, with its former hopes and wishes and its dreams that will never come true, that’s the haunted house. The accompanying chorus changes its lines to mention “barely keeping the lights on” and “get[ting] through the hard times, the speaking of our dreams in past tense.”
“Going home feels so different now. Remnants of [my dad’s] life are everywhere there, from his boots on the porch to his glasses that are still on the table, but for the first time in my life, I walked through the door knowing I’ll never see him in that space again,” MartiJane tells The Boot. “As writing the song unfolded, I realized there are many parts of our lives that are haunted, from literal houses to the bodies and minds we occupy, to the entire world we live in. Memories are everywhere for all of us, whether they’re wonderful or painful, and this song was a way for me to put some of my ghosts to rest.”
The final lines of “Haunted House” take her message even further: “We all live in a haunted house now / This world’s seen things it can’t forget / Repeat history til it burns down … We’re all just ghosts that ain’t gone yet,” MartiJane concludes.
Formerly the frontwoman of the indie pop-rock band Saving Jane, MartiJane (given name: Marti Dodson) has been making a name for herself as a country, pop and Christian songwriter in the decade or so since her band last released music. Kira Isabella’s “Quarterback,” Gabby Barrett’s “Jesus & My Mama” and Luke Bryan’s “You Look Like Rain” are among the cuts she has penned for other artists.
MartiJane tells The Boot that she’s been using her time during the novel coronavirus pandemic to make an album of songs she’s written solo. “Each one is a story about a different chapter of my life, with the hope that even though they’re my stories, listeners can find themselves there, too,” she shares.
Fans can keep up with MartiJane’s plans for new music at MartiJane.com.
Listen to MartiJane’s “Haunted House”:
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