Jill Andrews is determined to stay true to herself on Thirties, her first solo album in five years. Across the album, Andrews reflects on a decade full of the highs and lows “spent single parenting, falling in and out of love, wrestling with voices from the past and struggling with the idea of the future.”
Andrews puts a magnifying glass up to the moments that built her decade and makes them feel both enormous and minute on Thirties. The 13 tracks are rich with reflection as Andrews maintains both sharp curiosity and a tender heart. A few touching lyrical snapshots speak to Andrews’ journey on the album: “Some days I feel like someone else” (“Sorry Now”); “would it be so wrong, baby, if we can just stop the time / I want to stay in this moment for more than a little while” (“The Kids Are Growing Up”); “Every dawn follows a night and I know I’ll be alright” (“Wherever I End Up”).
Thirties is mostly a breezy sounding folk-pop record. Andrews’ melodies are sweet and easy to digest even when the subject matter is anything but. The soft acoustic guitar playing of “The Party” sounds far away from the sticky floors and cacophony that parties tend to have and makes Andrews’ plea for happiness feel like a warm hug. “Back Together” is vibrant and upbeat, glistening with synth notes, and even though Andrews admits, “love is hell,” the song sounds less like a wallowing anthem and more like a song to blast when you’re feeling free.
On “Gimme the Beat Back” — a track that is appropriately grounded by an assertive beat — Andrews sings, “turn this sad song down and gimme the beat back / put my heart where it used to be.” It’s a line that summarizes Thirties while also encapsulating the inspiringly determined spirit Andrews channels throughout.