BIRN Fresh Pick
By: Talia Segal
Jillette Johnson sings with a
voice I’ve heard before–a voice borrowed from a slightly brighter-colored Fiona
Apple, a less quirky Regina Spektor, and every single one of their later
incarnations. Cara Salimando is the first that comes to mind, but there are countless
Stick with me for a minute: None
of that is bad.
Globally speaking, human
reality is just comprised of a bunch of mutually shared experiences stuck on
repeat. Love, loss, identity, trauma…we’ve all been through it, and attach as many
meanings and consequences as there are those of us experiencing it; as many
colors as there are lenses to view it through.
That, and the sheer power of
Johnson’s talent—piano chops and a nuanced voice that wails and whispers, in
equal amounts, are why her vocal and lyrical similarities to women who’ve come
before her, isn’t a liability. On her debut album, Water in a Whale, she manages to be unique, while passing on the well-worn
and vital stories of the mutually shared experiences that we go through as
humans and, more specifically as women.
She beats tribal on Torpedo, a torch song about being brave
in a difficult world, and overcoming obstacles. She bleeds understanding and
acceptance on Cameron, a love letter
to a young, transgendered boy (the song that got her noticed and signed by Windup
Records). She laments on Pauvre Couer,
(which literally translates to “poor heart,”) about failed love. She comes home
to rest on True North; and finds
She covers all the bases, and
sounds great doing it!
Jillette Johnson opens for
Swear and Shake at Café 939 on Saturday, June 24th. Her new album, All I Ever See In You Is Me, out on
Rounder Records, drops July 28th.
Check out her music video for
Saturday, June 10th: Two great events broadcasting live on The BIRN!
At 4PM: Sleeping Lion performs on
At 8PM; Live! From The
Red Room: An Evening With Casey Abrams
American Idol Top 10 winner
and upright bass player, Casey Abrams, regales with his pop originals and
assorted bluesy covers of old favorites.
Check out his cover of
“Georgia on my Mind:” https://youtu.be/SOAZ28suRLc