"Same Dark Places" - a brand new track from Detroit duo JR JR - is out now and available for download on all DSPs, including iTunes and Spotify. The animated, watercolor-inspired lyric video, which can be seen HERE, underscores the uplifting, hopeful message of the song. JR JR - composed of Daniel Zott and Joshua Epstein - produced the track with longtime collaborator Ben West. KCRW's Jason Bentley played "Same Dark Places" on "Morning Becomes Eclectic" recently and the song has already been added to Spotify's Weekly Buzz playlist.
"Same Dark Places" can be heard in Episode 8 of the new Netflix Original Series "13 Reasons Why." Based on the #1 New York Times best-selling book by Jay Asher, the series unravels the mystery of a teenage girl's perplexing suicide. Tom McCarthy, Brian Yorkey, Selena Gomez, Joy Gorman and Kristel Laiblin served as executive producers on "13 Reasons Why." View the series trailer HERE.
Joshua Epstein recently shared the deeply personal story behind "Same Dark Places" in this post on the band's social media. He recalls how an experience on tour caused him to seek therapy, which led to a diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
"There are many, many people experiencing similar feelings whose biggest hurdle may simply be the ability to identify, accept or discuss mental illness without stigma, fear and shame," he says. "It can feel like a scary, lonely and dark place. As humans, we should not overestimate how powerful it can be to realize that we aren't alone--that we share our faults just as much as our positive attributes.So this is a song about that."
Today, JR JR announced a series of five intimate club shows in May, coinciding with Mental Health Awareness Month. The run will kick off on May 5 at Baby's All Right in New York City and wrap up May 25 at The Echo in Los Angeles. JR JR will donate a portion from each ticket sold to JED, a non-profit that works to protect emotional health and prevent suicide among U.S. teens and young adults. JED equips young people with the skills and knowledge to help themselves and each other; it partners with high schools and colleges to strengthen their mental health, substance abuse and suicide prevention programs and systems, and encourages community awareness, understanding and action for young adult mental health.
Fans can also support JED by purchasing at a price of their choosing the demo of “Same Dark Places.” 100% of the money raised from the sale of the bundle will go to JED.
"Music has powerful effects on emotions and can bring people together," says John MacPhee, JED Executive Director. "We're thrilled to partner with JR JR, who understand the importance of emotional well-being and use their talent to help others, and are grateful that they're spreading awareness and supporting JED's work with 'Same Dark Places' and their upcoming shows during Mental Health Awareness Month in May."
Epstein adds, "When considering being a part of the movement to de-stigmatize mental health issues, we felt that working with JED was important for a couple of reasons. It's one thing to tell one's story, but it then felt imperative to provide an avenue for people to proactively effect their own or their loved ones' lives to those whom might relate. It's also important with issues related to social stigma to talk to the youngest members of our society. Cultural mores are always slowly changing, but the youth have the power to create lasting changes that the world might not even be aware are possible in the present."
"Same Dark Places" is the first track to be unveiled from JR JR's new album, which will be released by Warner Bros. Records this fall. The duo's self-titled 2015 album contained the hit single "Gone," which racked up more than 26 million Spotify streams, hit the Top 10 on Spotify's Viral U.S. and Global charts and was a Top 10 hit at Alternative radio.
NPR Music named "Gone" as one of the "10 Songs Public Radio Can't Stop Playing" and noted, "JR JR, formerly Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., has retained its robust sense of humor. 'Gone' starts with Epstein's fun, pitch-perfect whistle, but it becomes a statement of resolve...JR JR will never lose its sense of amusement, nor the joy of singing and playing in unison, but now both come fortified with the weight of time and growth."