Jenna McDougall, the vocalist from Sydney’s pop-punk darlings Tonight Alive, has returned from a hiatus with a first taste of her solo project — Hevenshe. She’s just dropped the first track from her new project and it’s a simply gorgeous indie anthem brimming with the vocals we fell in love with all those years ago.
The track — called “No One Will Ever Love You” — sees Jenna take her explosive energy and channel it into a new vibe. Where Tonight Alive had Jenna exploring and discovering her identity, Hevenshe has her standing strong and determined as a powerful woman of indie rock.
I mean just look at the visuals in the video clip. It’s sent shivers up and down my spine.
Jenna said she felt like this new project has always been there waiting to be discovered within her creative self.
“[It was] inevitable – like the potential I’ve always had,” she said.
“She was waiting for me. The blueprint was always there.”
While it’s a move away from her harder-edged punk and emo roots, her new solo project continues to explore things that are close to Jenna’s heart: self-empowerment and emotional freedom.
“There’s an element of limitation to being in a band,” Jenna said.
“When Tonight Alive decided to go on hiatus, I was immediately trying to write my own songs and develop something new, without even really knowing or believing that I could.
“I felt blocked by my expectations and eventually had to surrender what I wanted this project to be. From that place, I was able to find my authentic sound. Hevenshe literally feels like what my voice is made for.”
Sonically, Hevenshe has an air of maturity and self-confidence. It feels like it takes influence and inspiration from other defiant women — everyone from the ethereal magic of Stevie Nicks to the ’90s pop-country confidence of Shania Twain.
Somewhere in there, I sense Paramore’s Hayley Williams still leaving her mark on Jenna’s work. Perhaps it’s through the dancey, energetic, throw-yourself-around-your-bedroom energy the track brings. It’s joyful, bold and effortlessly confident — everything you’d expect from a cooler older sister or femme presence.
For worried Tonight Alive stans wondering what this means for their faves, Jenna said her exploration into solo stuff isn’t putting a pin in the band for good.
“We are not disbanding,” she said.
“Individually we’ve all found fulfilment from our personal lives and projects through this time, but having a shared goal is starting to become exciting for us again.”
If you wanna catch Jenna McDougall and her new Hevenshe project, she’ll be playing her first proper solo gig at Crowbar in Sydney on June 10, and tickets are on sale now.