There’s a line in Jill Andrews’ new single, “River Swimming”–premiering today on American Songwriter–that subtly nods to the Nashville indie folk artist’s romantic and musical vulnerability.
“No need to test the water / I’ll just jump right in,” she sings in an opening verse. Her vocals are slick yet hushed, imbuing the song a nostalgic, atmospheric feel.
“This song is about being fully in the present with the person that you love,” Andrews tells American Songwriter. “It’s about being comfortable enough with someone to completely show yourself to them, even in all of the messiness of being human.”
“River Swimming” is the second single off Andrews’ forthcoming album, Thirties, and one several songs on the album that she co-wrote with fellow Nashville singer-songwriter Trent Dabbs.
“[Trent] and I penned 3 songs together for my new album,” says Andrews. “He has a way of drawing music out of me that feels very true to my artistry.”
Andrews dreamt of finding the type of love she sings about in “River Swimming” several years after she wrote the song. Now she thinks of that dream as a cosmic sign–she met her husband just a few months later.
“Years after Trent and I wrote this song, I had a dream one night that I was standing by a riverbank wrapped up in the arms of a man whom I had never met before but felt a very deep love for,” Andrews explains. “I remember telling some of my friends about it and my friend Kristin told me that she had had a dream like that right before she met her boyfriend. A few months later, I met my husband Jerred completely out of the blue. I always think of him as the man on the riverbank.”
“River Swimming” follows Thirties’ upbeat lead single “Back Together,” which sees Andrews cataloguing the reasons she doesn’t want to get back together with a persistent ex. “I got to know you / A little too well,” she sings with a pop inflection that almost obscures the line’s wincing honesty.
Co-produced by Lucas Morton, Thirties will be released this spring with a companion book titled Thirties: The Album in Portrait and Prose. On the album Andrews explores themes of motherhood, love, and relationships alongside guest contributors such as The Highwomens’ Natalie Hemby and Kacey Musgraves collaborators Ian Fitchuk and Daniel Tashian.
Thirties is Andrews’ first solo release in five years, following 2015’s The War Inside. While the singer-songwriter was once known for her involvement in the alt-country outfit The Everybodyfields, she’s also released music with Peter Groenwald as Hush Kids (the duo released a self-titled debut album in 2018). Groenwald and Hemby also have songwriting credits on “Back Together.”
All thirteen songs on Thirties are new releases, but some listeners might recognize “River Swimming” from The Good Wife–it was featured on an episode of the TV show in 2015.
Thirties is out March 27 via Vulture Vulture/Tone Tree Music.