Meet Molly Jewell. The Nashville-based alternative pop singer-songwriter first caught our ears back in 2014 with the release of her striking EP The Veil, a stark and deeply personal set of songs, anchored on the stunning lead single “Tricky.” “It still makes me sad to listen back to it,” she tells Billboard now of the debut set. “But it was healing, and I just hope it was or could still be for others.” That same year, Jewell embarked on a European tour in support of the set alongside Americana artist Stephen Simmons, with dates in the U.K. (and Germany). “The people there were full of light and love for music,” she says. “It helped me see all the magic again.”
Returning home to Nashville, she began work on the follow-up album, once again alongside producer Goffrey Moore (Jonatha Brooke, Brian Blade) and recorded at Nashville’s Club Roar, engineered by Colin Dupuis (Lana Del Rey, Ray LaMontagne, The Black Keys). Of their unique connection, Jewell explains, “Goffrey always hears exactly where the arrangement should go and what mood needs to be achieved to relay the story. It’s as if I know the characters and how they feel and act, and he knows the setting, lighting, costumes, and score.”
Today, the talented songstress returns with the title track and first single from the set, “I Wish You Loved Me Like You Started To,” premiering exclusively via Billboard.
The softly lulled ballad begins with Jewell’s smoky alto in a nostalgic plea for the past, as she sings “Days go by and it’s still the same… I just sit there and smile, but not because I’m happy, just because I haven’t made that face in awhile and I’m tired of trying.” The lovelorn track then quickly morphs into an electronic synth-led push and pull of percussion and rapid-fire piano on the song’s fervid chorus, recalling the electric energy of Regina Spektor, Angel Olsen and Fiona Apple.
“When I graduated from high school, I recall someone giving a speech about the importance of remembering to love the way you did ‘at first’… When you first met someone, or discovered joy in something new,” Jewell says of the track’s inspiration. “It always has more beauty, more spark ‘at first.’ If only it were so easy — to love things and people the way you did at first, before time changed you and them, before they let you down.”
Keep an eye out for Molly Jewell’s full EP coming later this summer, and give her previous effort ‘The Veil’ a spin below.