Getting Personal with Jill Savre

Jill Savre is quickly putting herself on the map as a singer-songwriter you should watch out for. Recently the songstress released her new album, Nothing Up My Sleeve, which is starting to garner praise from fans and critics alike. Her ambitious record is equal parts artsy and heavenly, as her vocals take each song on the album to another level. I had the chance to catch up with Jill Savre recently, for an exclusive interview which you will find below.

What comes first when writing, the music or the lyrics?  

In general, the whole thing all at once. Maybe I'll play chords and the melody will come straight away, then lyrics, but it all sort of works together really… with a later tune up of the lyrics. I have to take care I do not do the old "option anxiety" edit thing or words will run away with me dragging me behind. It comes pretty organically though. I thank God I have art to put myself into or I may have cracked by now. The hope is that you do the muse justice big time. With a lot of heart and some kind of love.

What is the theme and concept behind the new record? What inspired you to create the songs? 

Ha.  Creativity and a back log of material I must get to immediately or bust! Life not lived or living unconsciouslyA rather shy life of peeking my head in and out of my Turtle shell and the unforeseen forthcoming inflictors of pain and heartbreak.  Then there's life's awesome bonus and the jewel in the crown: glorious good pure love. From a few chosen few.  A few songs would want to offer help to others going through or getting thru the same things.

Your vocals are silky smooth with an incredible tone! What vocalists do you look up to and how did you craft your vocal style?

 Thank you so much for saying that! I love so many singers throughout recorded history, a small sampling in semi chronological order would be: Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday, George Jones, Lennon/McCartney, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell, Joan Osbourne, Amy Winehouse and Chris Stapleton. The list goes on forever, and notice how many of these are tremendous songwriters too.

In my formative musical years, I did go through a sort of voice honing process, spending time recording myself with a little miniature recorder, listening back to the results, then making adjustments to get things to sound the way I liked.

What kind of instruments do you use on the new record?

Guitars, guitars and more guitars, including my favorite, a Tobacco Sunburst 1960s Gibson ES 125 TDC, which was used a lot by both Matt and myself. I got it when they were still especially affordable. It was originally considered a student model guitar, and with its soap bar pickups and all, it is one ultra vibey mojo machine! We also had some fun recording specialty instruments like my toy piano, a banjo, ukulele and literally some bells and whistles. If you notice any whistling in there, that's me. We were so fortunate to have the legendary Bob Magnusson play his upright bass on the song Skeleton Key, he is FANTASTIC.

Do you record the new album on your own, or did you head to the studio with an outside producer?

Matt and I recorded and produced the songs on our own with the exception of two of them: This Must Be Your Lucky Day and Guess I'll Cry. For those we recorded my vocals and guitar, then producer Stacy Hogan took it from there, with a lot of ideas from us. Going forward, we've been thinking it could be nice to work with outside producers right from the start. Because sometimes things get get away with me from so many ideas and things I hear. But I love that part. It is pure creativity and I feel like it just comes through to me in such a lovely profound way that it brings great joy. 

What is the inspiration behind the new single, "Nothing Up My Sleeve"?

It's probably one of those cumulative things coming through about the many people letting the "ego" ball get away from us a little before we strike so called gold…. myself included. Then also a little social commentary about we the people maybe not giving others a leg up in society, to reach goals, or give proper connections, help to succeed in life's endeavors.

With elements of Indie and Folk Rock, how do you combine those elements to craft your own, unique sound? 

I don't know…it's all just about the chords I may hear and melodies coming through  to me….sometimes even in a waking state. Again trying not to try too hard and letting the "birth" take place.  Insecurity, is always breathing down my neck. I hope in the end it is unique, and I must feel I'm  for real.  Life kinda hones a person to what they will be at any given time. My spirituality is important to me and to be positive and to fight any depression that may loom. That Is the hope.

Where do you see yourself as a musician 10 years from now?

Hopefully with a LOT more of my songs well recorded! Between my big back catalog of songs and the ones I'm writing right now, it's really going to require a lot of time at the microphone.  I cannot afford to lose any more time or be wasteful. Not to say that my life hadn't been delivered a few mishaps, but what can ya do. Just carry on, or, as our most beloved uncle Rex Ragan advised us he did just before we recently lost him, "ROLL with it.”

Artist Jill Savre