On Saturday mornings in a small bedroom in East Tennessee, ten-year-old Jill Andrews would slide Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation into her tape deck, jump up onto the bed, knot her T-shirt at the waist, and start jamming. She sang in front of the mirror, played all the invisible instruments, and wondered over and over about a future that would take her beyond the checkerboard lawns and fresh blacktop of the suburbs. She wasn’t left wondering for long. Just a few years later, Andrews was on tour, singing, writing, and playing with one the nation’s fastest rising Americana groups.
From her years in the Everybodyfields, to her critically acclaimed solo career, to her latest collaboration Hush Kids, which she co-founded with Nashville songwriter and producer Peter Groenwald, Andrews has delivered irresistibly melodic, genre-bending music for nearly two decades. Anchored by frank songwriting but continuously and unapologetically evolving, Andrews’ tape deck currently hosts a range of influences from Joni Mitchell to Diana Ross to Wilco to contemporaries, Brandi Carlile and Phoebe Bridgers. The result is bold, infectious, introspective music that has served as the backdrop to some of America’s most beloved television series including Grey’s Anatomy, This Is Us, Nashville, and Wynnona Earp, to which she composed the theme.
Modern Age, her latest release, is an unironic return to that small pink bedroom in East Tennessee, a meditation on childhood and changing times, growing up and looking back. In moments, the epitome of 90s pop perfection with airy synths and shimmering vocals and in others, pared down and heart wrenchingly intimate, Modern Age is dripping in reverence for a simpler time, when the world was as big as your high school, when love was waiting by the phone, when we wondered about the future instead of lived in it. With addictive hooks that evoke Susannah Hoffs and Kate Bush, Modern Age is at once a time capsule of and a love letter to the places we all began.