Time for the bittersweet end of 2019 and with it a beautiful breakup song by Jillian Steele.
Ex In The City is a pop ballad that feels like an honest, unfiltered excerpt from Steele's brain. The song is vibey and chill and perfectly encapsulates the weird limbo phase of leaving a relationship. If you are looking for a mellow rainy day pop song, this is one for you.
According to Steele "the story behind this song is.. my friend/song-sister Claire Carruthers and I started rewatching "sex and the city" and thought that the idea "ex in the city" for a song would be rad and super relatable for anyone who lives somewhere in close proximity with an ex after a breakup and the challenges that come along with doing so!! written in Nashville with JohnLuke Lewis about an ex who lives a little too close."
Jillian Steele is an American indie pop singer/songwriter from New York currently residing in Nashville, Tennessee. Having formed an early love for performing, the songstress initially started her career singing and acting in commercials, but not long after made the decision to move to Nashville and study at the renowned Belmont University. Her time there further ignited her passion for songwriting and the born storyteller has since been creating honest and infectious indie pop resonating with listeners across the globe.
Deeply rooted in the singer/songwriter genre, Steele adds elements of modern pop soundscapes and energetic melodies, crafting a modern pop aesthetic, whilst still holding true emotion and sentiment. Inspired by the likes of Maggie Rogers, Sasha Sloan and Julia Michaels and other strong female musicians, Steele uses her music to emphasize the importance of self-love and empowerment. A running theme throughout her music is reflection and Steele hopes her use of thought-provoking lyrics can help others gain insight in times of need.
Leading single ‘No Expectations’ was co-written by Michel Heyaca and James Shelley (American Authors). The track which was written during a period of uncertainty and confusion, narrates how everything happens for a reason and how things can work out the way it’s supposed to. Steele reveals, “Life was happening around me and I was just in it without any control and through this song I gained insight that I do deserve things and I should have expectations of what I want”. Sonically the single features silky vocals which glide gently atop the warm acoustic guitar. Protective yet freeing, ‘No Expectations’ showcases vibrant melodies and glowing tones.
‘Thorns Included’ echoes the well known phrase of “if you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best”. Steele admits, “The main inspiration behind this song was the feeling of constant worry I had that if I let someone get too close to me they would find my faults and I think wouldn’t be enough”. The single’s vulnerability allows listeners to connect and relate to the song on a personal level, while demanding that you are worthy regardless of your flaws.
Review by Hannah Schneider