“Snakes & Ladders” is the brand new EP from Jill Blutt! A truly independent artist, Jill Blutt solely wrote, produced, and created artwork for this impressive project. The EP features five original track from Jill Blutt, who is currently based in Boston where she is finishing her degree at Berklee College of Music. The project deals with themes of mental illness, substance use/abuse, and sexuality, without teetering over the edge of being too serious.
Beginning with the sultry and ambient vibes of “Dopamine”, Jill Blutt’s vocals come in from the offset as a beautiful and breathy guide through the journey of this track. There is a certain melancholic ballad and quiet expression feeling with the song “Dopamine”. That quiet sadness is temporary, soon enough the bass-line hits, the vocals intensify, and contrast is utilized brilliantly to create something that demands attention and again reaches out across the borders of pop. There’s a nostalgic, classic anthem feel to this one. “Sweet//Aromatic” is a definite highlight. A classic pop landscape meets with a heavy and uniquely affected beat that drives through to the forefront of the experience. Meanwhile, Jill’s delicate and emotional vocals create another clever contrast, as this quickly seductive, addictively memorable hook and heart-warming sentiment pour into the room.
Following this, “Double Feature” leads with a softly calming progression that quiets the mood. Delicate vocals bring a melody that leads well into the song’s musical build-up and evolution. Jill Blutt creatively balances delicately soulful songwriting with contemporary sound design on this heartfelt and emotionally loaded new EP. Throughout “Nancy Drew”, Jill’s vocals lean far more in the direction of soul and add further identity and layout a smooth and equally absorbing melody and story-line. That level of intention and artistic relevance stands tall throughout “Snakes & Ladders” presenting a mature way with songwriting amidst an easily relatable and likable playlist of moments that seek to connect and calm the deeper thinkers out there.
“Wasabi Peas” follows on with quiet grace, providing a spacious moment of reflective poetry that looks to the future with a subtle touch of optimism and melancholy combined. This one again grows to be something of an easily recognizable, alternative pop hit. The final song on the project, “Wasabi Peas” is atmospheric and hauntingly beautiful. Rather than succumbing to industry expectations or mainstream flavors just for the hell of it, “Snakes & Ladders” takes the time to craft something straight from the heart, straight from the depths of the human mind, and this reaches out via everything from the lyrics to the vocal tone to the music. A great way to go out, and another side to Jill Blutt well showcased. “Snakes & Ladders” in full is undoubtedly a project that speaks to today’s generation of music fans and lost artists, those searching for understanding or a place to feel calm and welcome. A gorgeous EP, I look forward to hearing more from Jill as time goes by.
Listen to “Snakes & Ladders” here and read more with Jill Blutt below!
Welcome to BuzzMusic Jill Blutt! Congratulations on your new EP! Can you tell us more about your intentions when you first began to curate your recent album “Snakes & Ladders”?
At first, my intentions were super vague. I had just come back to making music after several years of dicking around and not doing much of anything. I wanted to stop overthinking artmaking and create something I could stand behind. I had a lot of whiplash from everything I had been going through in recent years and growth I had undergone and I wanted to put it into words. I wrote and produced probably around 10 - 15 songs but only ended up recording vocals on the five that made it onto the EP.
How do you think you and your music have grown since you first started writing, versus now?
I've gone through so many phases with writing music. A lot of times I've made the mistake of trying to closely replicate sounds I've heard and enjoyed. In high school, I was sure I wanted to make folk-punk like Mischief Brew or Johnny Hobo & The Freight trains. Then when I got into production, I veered in a completely different direction and started making more downtempo inspired by the likes of Mark Farina and Boards of Canada and stuff. Now I'm not so much trying to go for a specific sound as I am just writing things that I think I'd like to listen to, either now or at some past point in my life.
"Dopamine" is the perfect track to open up “Snakes & Ladders”. Where did you draw inspiration for this particular track?
Dopamine is all about accepting the natural behavior of my lil human brain and acknowledging my unhealthy coping mechanisms. A lot of people think dopamine is the neurotransmitter responsible for happiness, but it's really involved in our pleasure system and learned behavior. It's the thing that tells us to continue with our bad habits even when they aren't doing us any good. Musically, I wanted the song to sound like false hope, maybe a little saccharine.
"Double Feature" is flooded with absolute passion and emotion. What emotions were crucial to channel when creating this song?
Double Feature is all about that feeling you get when you keep cracking on with someone who you kind of hate but who you can't help but come back to time and time again. Lyrically I think the content of this song is very similar to the song Use Me by Bill Withers. I've always had a bit of like, emotional masochism when it comes to romance. I guess if I were to try to identify that specific emotion I would call it ambivalence. But like, aggressive ambivalence.
Thank you so much for sharing your new music with us! What else are you working on going forward? Do you have any upcoming shows to promote the new EP?
Thanks for the chance to talk about myself--I'm a Leo so I could go on for days, to be honest. Right now I'm like, dropping hints that I'm available for bookings (I'm available for bookings) and also working on a video and some merch.