Hush Kids is a songwriting blind date that paid off.
Jill Andrews and Peter Groenwald were introduced via their respective publishers four years ago. The first session yielded a song for their self-titled debut album, whose “What’s Your Hurry” premieres exclusively below. “It was amazing,” Andrews recalls. But it was the second time, a few years later, that cemented the tandem.
“We wrote in Peter’s boat, which was parked in his back yard,” recalls Andrews, who had released a pair of solo albums and had been part of the band the Everybodyfields. “We were dry-docked, but we had a couple of beers,” adds Groenwald. That session led to another song both singer-songwriters loved, and the proverbial light bulbs went off. “I was doing a little mixing on it,” Groenwald remembers, “and I said, ‘Wait, this is done, and it’s awesome’ and Jill was the one who said, ‘and we should start a band!’ I felt like I couldn’t say no, because she clearly has a lot going on and it’s her idea to do this. I had to say yes.”
“Or you’d be a total slacker,” Andrews adds with a laugh.
The 10 tracks on Hush Kids, produced by Ian Fitchuk (Kacey Musgraves), showcase Andrews’ and Groenwald’s instinctive sense of singing together, both in unison and harmonies, as well as a flair for rich melodies and ambient spaciousness. “What’s Your Hurry,” one of several co-written with Fitchuk, “kind of just came from our own lives,” according to Andrews. Both she and Groenwald are parents, and the hectic nature of everyday lives steered them towards “trying to write a song about chilling the hell out,” according to Groenwald. “It’s always easy to write the heartbreak or the sad songs; It’s not always easy to write a feel-good, cruisin’ down the highway song, and that’s what we were trying to do, something easy breezy.” Andrews adds that, “We were just thinking about the idyllic kind of living, where you can sit back and hang with the world that’s around you and be with people who are around you, and your families. It’s kind of a wake-up call to ourselves about that.”
With Hush Kids coming Oct. 26, the duo is hoping to play some live dates and is certain it will be a going concern. Groening, in fact, was “a huge part” of a new solo album Andrews recently recorded. And they have more songs to develop from the 20 or so they worked on for the debut album.
“We want to put this album out and keep writing together and making music,” Andrews says. “It’s really very fun. It’s also hard because we both have our own things going on.” Groenwald elaborates that, “This is full time — but we’ve each got maybe three full-time things going on. But this is a priority. You’ll definitely be hearing more from us.”