The War Inside out 9/25/15 via Vulture, Vulture
A native of East Tennessee, Jill Andrews kicked off her songwriting career as co-founder of The Everybodyfields, a band whose mix of Southern genres — folk, country, bluegrass — and male-female vocals helped pave the way for future groups like The Civil Wars. It earned The Everybodyfields a wide fan-base too, as well as appearances at Bonnaroo, The Kennedy Center, and a cross-country tour with The Avett Brothers. After three albums, Andrews left that band and launched a solo career, starting with a self-titled EP and a full-length record, The Mirror (2011), which built something bigger and broader on top of her Americana roots.
On her newest solo record The War Inside, Andrews shines a light on her own struggles and successes, tying the songs together with a new sound that mixes her folk background with a wider set of influences.
“It was a time filled with many new and exciting beginnings, as well as some deep personal loss,” says Andrews, who wrote the album after relocating to Nashville, TN. “The album focuses in on some particular moments of triumph, hardship, and hope.”
While working on The War Inside, Andrews signed a publishing deal and began landing songs in multiple TV shows and movies, including Grey’s Anatomy, The Good Wife, Nashville, American Idol, Hart of Dixie, and Me, Him, Her (2015), among others. One of her songs, “Joy Parade,” also appeared on The Music of Nashville: Season 2, Volume 2, a TV soundtrack that rose to number 13 on the Billboard 200. But Andrews made sure to save the best songs for her own record.
“When I set out to make this album,” she explains, “I wanted it to feel like me — but me moving, me progressing. I wanted to stretch my legs a bit. My producer, Will Sayles, and I spent a lot of time in the studio experimenting with different sounds and different feels to really bring the songs to life.”
The War Inside reaches into the pop and indie rock world, while still tipping its hat to Andrews’ Appalachian roots. Longtime friend Seth Avett even makes an appearance, singing a duet with Andrews on “I’m so in Love with You.” These songs feel present, and they’re delivered the way Andrews always delivers them: with raw emotion that is as real to her as it is to the listener. And it’s her best album yet.
Written by: Andrew Leahey