She lit candles and she bought flowers and she laid the flowers around her husband’s grandmother’s old piano that now lives within the confines of her living room.
And then, Jillian Jacqueline began to sing.
In the American Songwriter live performance video exclusive of “Wait for the Light,” the downright angelic singer/songwriter sings of simple pleasures and of greatest treasures, delivering a hymn of hope to all those searching for something to grasp onto during these most uncertain of times.
And yes, Jacqueline finds herself grasping too.
“I’m listening to songs like ‘What a Wonderful World” and “A Change is Gonna Come” and songs that remind me that life is really about the simple things, like babies and flowers and the blue sky above us,” Jacqueline tells American Songwriter during a recent interview. “We have to open our eyes and notice these truths. We have to take in the things that don’t change even when there is chaos.”
She sighs for a moment.
“That is what really is getting me through all of this…and still is.”
It was this need for something to hold onto during the recent quarantine that led Jacqueline to first sit down alongside her husband Bryan Brown and her brother-in-law and producer Tofer Brown to create something simple, timeless and classic.
And “Wait for the Light” came out of their collective spirit.
“Sometimes, as a songwriter, the hardest thing is to say the simplest thing,” says Jacqueline, who has been vocal in the past about her struggles with anxiety. “I’ve struggled with that. I complicated things more than they should be. But in this song, I wanted to say it simply and plainly that sometimes, we have to let things be a mystery sometimes. Maybe that’s the beauty of life. Maybe we are supposed to get good with the uncomfortable. Maybe we need to ride the wave even when we feel like its going to overtake us.”
At the time, the song was a poignant reminder fit for a pandemic. But that was just the beginning. Originally released on May 29, “Wait for the Light” began evolving before Jacqueline’s very eyes in early June as the country began to erupt in response to the death of George Floyd.
“We let the song go and do what it was going to do, but then everything changed,” recalls Jacqueline about the song that serves as her first release of new music since her widely acclaimed 2018 EP Side B. “There was a complete shift of awareness and a social media uprising pf sorts, and all of a sudden, the song took on a very different meaning for us. It became somewhat of a peace offering to anyone who listened to it.”
And yes, there are lyrics within this song that give Jacqueline peace too, lyrics that are reminding her each and every day as to how best to live in a world that often feels like it it crumbling around you.
“I have to be in the day,” says the Pennsylvania native, who will release her first full length album project later this year. “I have to wake up and focus on what I have control over. We all do.”
Especially…if you are a songwriter. “Never in my life have I had this much space in my mind, with virtually nothing obstructing my view,” she concludes. “If you call yourself a songwriter and you can’t sit down and write a song, you are bullshi**ing yourself. We have the opportunity to be the voice of this moment and offer some words and music that reflect all of the complexity and layers and viewpoints of what is happening right now.”