Out today in the UK is Jillette Johnson’s sophomore album All I Ever See In You Is Me, released by Rounder Records. With her first EP Whiskey & Frosting originally hitting shelves back in August 2012, GIGsoup is delighted to be catching up with the acclaimed American singer-songwriter and find out what’s changed for her during this time – and what exciting things Jillette has for us to look forward to.
How have things changed for you, personally and musically, since the release of your debut album with Wind-up ‘Water in a Whale’?
I’ve toured around the US many times over, lived in Los Angeles, moved to Nashville, gotten in relationships and out of them, become an aunt, become an avid yogi, written about 400 songs, and learned how to make a mean risotto. I also have become a more subtle, nuanced writer, singer, and performer, I’ve grown into my voice, and I’ve grown up a lot as a piano player. I was 24 when Water in a Whale came out, and I’m 28 now. In artist years, that’s a big difference.
You’ve recently described writing music as being ‘flooded with words, usually late at night, and it’s almost like I’m putting together a lullaby for myself’. Has writing music always been like that for you? Does putting music to your words always come afterwards?
Actually it often happens all at once. And sometimes it starts with the piano. I don’t have a formula for it, and it’s hard for me to describe how it happens, other than it feels like a game of tennis. I have to be laser focused on the ball, and constantly on my toes. There are a million places the ball can go, but I have to keep it within the lines of the song. I just follow the ball when it comes back to me, and try to hit it back well enough to keep the game going.
What’s the story behind your latest single ‘Flip A Coin’?
I was driving through San Bernadino while the shootings were happening, and it further sparked an already ignited feeling of paranoia and disbelief at some of the horrific realities of the world we’re in today. I felt helpless, and at the mercy of strangers, and I wrote a song about what that kind of fear turns into.
Your new album All I Ever See In You Is Me is coming out in the UK with Rounder Records on September 1st – is there a stand out song from this album that you’re excited about? What’s next for you in your musical journey?
I’m very proud of Bunny, the first song on the record. It sort of sums up the last several years of my life, and it shows a lot about who I am as an artist. I’m going to tour the hell out of this album, and make more! I’ve got a lot of new songs that I’m anxious to put out, so I can’t wait to get back to the studio. And I’m going to come to Europe and tour, which is something I’ve never done and am really looking forward to.
Jillette Johnson’s sophomore album All I Ever See In You Is Me is out now in the UK.