With her nuanced lyricism and shapeshifting vocals, Nashville-based singer/songwriter/pianist Jillette Johnson is the rare artist who needs little sonic accompaniment to make an indelible impact. Produced by Dave Cobb (the Grammy Award-winner known for his work with Jason Isbell and Sturgill Simpson), Johnson’s sophomore album All I Ever See in You Is Me (released July 28th via Rounder) offers up sparsely orchestrated songs centering on her spirited piano work and graceful vocal command. Like only the most timeless songwriters, Johnson finds infinite depth within that simplicity, tapping into her quiet intensity and classic sensibilities to capture the subtlest of feelings.
Recorded at RCA Studio A—the historic Nashville space where Dolly Parton laid down “Jolene” and “I Will Always Love You” in the same three-hour span—All I Ever See in You Is Me bears an unhurried pace and warm intimacy that echoes the purposeful looseness of its production. “We didn’t overthink anything—we just went in and tracked the songs live and stuck with our instincts, then drank a lot of tequila when we were done,” says Johnson. “It wasn’t a high-pressure situation at all, and because of that there’s a humanity to the album that feels really good to me.”
At the same time, All I Ever See in You Is Me unfolds with an eloquence that reveals Johnson’s natural sophistication as a songwriter. Drifting between hazy romanticism and resolute self-awareness, the album examines heartbreak and resilience with a willful vulnerability. From song to song, Johnson heightens that emotionality with the ever-changing texture of her voice, an instrument that’s irresistibly powerful whether she’s belting out a refrain or whispering a hushed melody.
Glide is thrilled to premiere the video for “Flip a Coin” (below) a stirring track of maternal warmth and anxious vulnerability echoing both Dolly Parton and Stevie Nicks. In Johnson’s gritty, sly and soulful delivery and spot on musicianship, there is “wow” factor that keeps the listener hooked from the get-go.
“I wrote flip a coin after driving through San Bernadino, right while the shootings were happening,” says Johnson about the track. “It spun me into a tailspin of fear and paranoia, and that’s what we tried to capture in the video. It’s a portrait of someone trying to find safety within unforeseeable chaos.”