The follow-up to 2017’s critically acclaimed “ Side A”, this EP arrived into the world quietly on September 7th with no big flashy announcements, and although eagerly anticipated its release will therefore have come as quite a surprise to a lot of Jillian’s growing fan base ( she just hit over 1 million monthly listeners on spotify ) . It’s predecessor definitely put this Big Loud Records artist on the country music map, and this collection will no doubt deservedly cement her place as one of the rising stars of the genre.
Both EP’s contain six songs ( Side A stretched to nine tracks with the inclusion of acoustic versions of three) but to quote Jillian while side A’s writes contained “ a lot of regret, brokenness, pride and the desire to forgo fear ” the new release “ is all about allowing yourself to be happy, and forgiveness”. The tracks are “ the culmination of years of deeply personal experiences, hard lessons learned and finding joy in the small moments ” she has said in the press release. Jillian co-wrote all the songs, teaming up with some massive names when it comes to country songwriting, including Nathalie Hemby, Lori McKenna and Bob DiPietro. As with Side A, producer Tofer Brown is at the helm, and he is also credited as co-writer on four songs and provides keys, bass, guitar and BGV’s on several tracks.
Two tracks from Side B have already been released as singles in recent weeks and may therefore already be familiar to you. The EP’s only ballad “ Sad Girls”, a Lori McKenna
co-write from a couple of years back, is a stunner of a song about a failing relationship and plays out scenes in such a cinematic fashion it’s no wonder it was named “ A Song You Need To Know” by Rolling Stone
And just prior to that “ If I Were You” was made available, featuring country superstar Keith Urban
harmonising on each chorus and providing some of his stunning guitar work . No doubt this will have helped introduce Jillian to a whole set of new fans
These two singles are the most country infused tracks on the EP, with the remaining four having a more contemporary sound. Yes sonically there’s quite a mix here ( which will hopefully help it appeal to a wide range of listeners ) but what is consistent throughout are raw, emotional vocals and great lyrics. I particularly like the conversational approach taken on many of the songs, just listen to the verses of “ Tragic” for example. Jillian writes from the heart about experiences many of us have gone through and she has the ability to connect with, and relate to, the listener. I can really see the more upbeat, catchy tracks going down a storm live, indeed I was fortunate enough to catch Jillian perform acoustically at C2C this year and can vouch for the fact that “ Priorites” ( written just two weeks prior to the festival!) and “ Tragic” really stuck in my head!
Yes. I’m really enjoying this EP and am keeping my fingers crossed that we’ll see Jillian back in the UK before too long…..sadly I missed her appearances at last year’s “ Country Music Week” ….some headline shows would be more than welcome!
Meanwhile she’s about to start a string of shows Stateside with Kip Moore
on his “ After the Sunburn” tour.
For more information about Jillian go to jillianjaquelline.com
and of course you can follow her on all the usual socials.