Based out of Glasgow, Jill Lorean are a trio fronted by the songwriting talents of Jill O’Sullivan. Having made her name as a member of Sparrow And The Workshop, Jill is joined in the band by Frightened Rabbit’s Andy Monaghan and drummer Peter Kelly. Back in 2020, the band released their debut EP, Not Your First, and next month they will release their debut album This Rock, a record Jill describes as, “a musing on nature, relationships, love, grief, motherhood and memory”. Ahead of the release, today Jill is premiering the latest single from the album, Black Dog.
A traditional signifier for sadness, Jill takes the idea of the Black Dog and spins it into a mythical realm, like an Ancient Greek fable. Jill explains the story as, “a lucid dream-like adventure where a godlike figure attempts to grant all of a person’s wishes by carving them all kinds of exciting things out of the clouds. But a sad dog keeps appearing so the deity swallows the sky not understanding that the person wanted to confront the whole spectrum of their emotions, including the sad dog chasing them around”. The track is a reminder that to truly live an honest life you have to confront your full gambit of emotions, not hide behind superficial happiness and adorn yourself with only life’s pretty, shallow trinkets.
Musically, the track takes inspiration from a dance project that Jill and Pete used to work together on, as well as the folkish tradition of acts like Fairport Convention or Pentangle. With insistent rhythms and ice-cold vocal delivery, the resultant combination of sounds seems to place Jill Loren in the freak-folk realm inhabited by the likes of Cocorosie or Vetiver, bands who merge musical worlds to make something entirely their own. Recalling its creation, Jill even admits the track surprised herself, “it was not what I was expecting. I like the unexpected. I like to feel surprised that I want people listening to it to feel alive and awake”. If it’s a surprise, then it’s an entirely welcome one, the sound of a band fitting the pieces together, creating an ancient epic re-imagined for a modern world, Jill Lorean sound like they’re onto something rather wonderful.