Colorado musician/philanthropist Jace Allen shares his long-anticipated debut album, Taking Sides, out everywhere now. The LP is a dynamic, multi-genre blend of rock, funk, soul, country and pop that focuses on multiple perspectives of conflict and resolution. Over ten tracks, Allen turns back to music as he deeply reflects on various struggles that occur both internally and externally, allowing his body of work to be a source of connection, understanding and healing. In addition to the album release, Allen shares track and video, “Hail Federate,” with all proceeds benefiting families impacted by the war in Ukraine via 1kproject.org.
Taking Sides features a variety of collaborators including Payge Turner (The Voice, Season 19) and David Cremin, as well as featured players such as Divinity Roxx (Beyoncé), Dave Immerman (Avril Lavigne), JUNO (Bruno Mars, Camilla Cabello), Akie Bermiss (Lake Street Dive), Brad Hargreaves (Third Eye Blind), and more. The eclectic sound of this record strikingly bends genres and allows Allen to come into his own artistry.
“This album is the culmination of my first year of going back to music full time,” says Allen. “I chose not to edit and wrote whatever came to me. In the end, multiple genres came out of my brain, but ironically the songs all tied together lyrically. ‘Taking Sides’ is more than just the title track, as it’s a description. Each of the songs all talk about some sort of conflict and I think the album, as a whole, is a conflict between my different modes of songwriting. Perhaps the audience will tell me what genre they think I should focus on.”
Along with today’s release comes “Hail Federate,” a single with an accompanying video directed by frequent collaborator Stephen Albanese, that meditates on the war in Ukraine. True to his philanthropic roots, all of Allen’s releases have focused on charity. Today’s release benefits The 1K Project, a volunteer-based organization that connects sponsors worldwide to families impacted by the war in Ukraine. Speaking to the inspiration for the track, and its charitable aspect, Allen explains, “I was sitting at home feeling helpless about Russia’s attempted takeover of Ukraine. I kept reading stories of the “every man” leaving his life to fight and feeling deep respect toward them. I pictured the Ukrainian farmer laying his plow on the ground, making sure his family is safe and taking up arms to fight and this song wrote itself almost immediately.” In no way do I think this song helps their plight,” adds Allen, “but my wife and I found a great organization that helps families in Ukraine.”
Also appearing on the LP are the previously-released collaborations with Payge Turner, “Underwater” and most recently “Battleborn.” The lush, funk-fueled “Underwater” benefitted The Clean Slate Initiative, a non-profit that raises money for social justice reform and clears the records of those formerly in the prison system, who commit to staying crime-free. Previous singles Allen has released raised money for the Colorado Relief Fund and Breakthrough (formerly Defy Colorado).
“Battleborn,” and its video, are cutting edge and brutal, a remnant of a time past mixed with the relevance of today’s pop. Turner’s voice soars while Allen’s enveloping vocals create the backbone for the song’s journey–a narrative about coming to grips with the world’s challenges, knowing well that many more lie ahead. Upon its release, the track benefitted Partners For Justice, a non-profit that works toward breaking the cycle of poverty and criminalization. Bringing together world-class players across styles, Allen and Turner sought to break barriers with their teamwork resulting in an anthemic track filled with strength, perseverance and fearlessness.
With his debut album, Taking Sides, Jace Allen looks at conflicts within and around him to offer solace, solutions and ultimately bring attention and resources to meaningful causes in an effort to bring hope to the future. The ten track project is out everywhere now, and the latest single “Hail Federate” aims to aid families in the midst of war in Ukraine with proceeds benefiting The 1K Project.