Premiere: Jill Andrews Takes Us on a Journey Through the Dark with Her New Song “Walking Wounded”

Walking Wounded - Jill Andrews
Walking Wounded - Jill Andrews
Jill Andrews explores the darker side of the imagination in her new song ‘Walking Wounded’ from her upcoming EP ‘Vultures’.
Stream: “Walking Wounded” – Jill Andrews




The artist has always found ingenious ways of working in times of instability. In fact, it has often been argued that the most beautiful and moving pieces of art comes out of times chaos. I do not believe you have to suffer to make art or live-in perpetual heartache, but I do believe that suffering, whether out in the world or inside of oneself, can be healed and made sense of by art. In the famous speech by Harry Lime played by Orson Welles in the film The Third Man, he says, “After all it’s not that awful. You know what the fellow said – in Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace – and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock. So long Holly.”

In March 2020, Nashville artist Jill Andrews was gearing up to release her album Thirties and the accompanying book of the same name. It was going to be a big one. Andrews was going to tour the album whilst simultaneously embarking a nationwide book tour. Then the pandemic hit and Andrews plans, like everyone else’s, got torn up in front of her. As a way to recoup some of her losses as an independent artist, Andrews set up a Patreon page and began interacting with fans in a different way than intended.

Part of this also involved Andrews revisiting songs she had written for TV and films, songs few people had heard. With this revisiting came the realisation that a lot these songs could work together as an album, so Andrews gathered up the ones that made the most sense sitting side-by-side and put them into her upcoming EP Vultures, which is out in May.

Walking Wounded - Jill Andrews
Walking Wounded – Jill Andrews

The first single from Vultures is the hauntingly despondent “Walking Wounded,” co-written by Philip Larue and Jeff Bowman. Andrews describes the song as being about, what author Elizabeth Gilbert calls, “horizontal thinking”, which is when you become captivated, or rather captured by your own imagination, running hand-in-hand down dark corridors together.

What is fascinating about the song is that it is the “horizontal thinking” version of Andrews that wrote it, not the Andrews we are familiar with and whose music we singalong to. This Andrews is a stranger. This may explain why ‘Walking Wounded’ and the EP as a whole is a little darker than her other music. It is an exploration into the depressive side of the human brain.

“Sometimes, if I let myself slow down too much and sink into the couch a little too far, the breezy, sunlit spaces that I normally hang out in, can start to seem a little harder to find,” Andrews says. “Usually, I’ll get up, busy myself again with the self-soothing daily tasks of living and my mind will regain its calm composure. Sometimes though, old tired memories pull me back in and try to remind me of who I used to be or perhaps who I should be. This song is written from the perspective of that version of me, the one rummaging through the dark rooms to see what she can find.”

Jill Andrews © Fairlight Hubbard
Jill Andrews © Fairlight Hubbard

‘Walking Wounded’ has an emptiness about it, with Andrews’ vocals reverberating around the space, set against a piano whose sound is undeniably pure and a heavy synth, which at times feels like your pulse hammering in your ears.

I’m walking wounded
Walking wounded

Andrews’ voice has always been versatile and able to convey an array of emotions in a single lyric, but with ‘Walking Wounded’ there is an edge to her vocals, a queasiness if you will. You aren’t meant to be soothed or reassured or even cry. This isn’t a place to stay for too long.

I feel like a ghost
when the pain starts flooding in through my veins
Feels like the afterlife nobody behind your eyes
Jill Andrews © Fairlight Hubbard
Jill Andrews © Fairlight Hubbard

The choruses take the children’s nursery rhyme ‘Ring a Ring o’ Roses’ and twists it. The nursey rhyme, though for children, is often thought be about the Great Plague that swept England in 1665. Symbolic perhaps given what we are all living through or maybe purely coincidental given that the song was written in the past. The choruses also give the song a cyclical nature that as you reach the end, you are back at the beginning again, back with your thoughts, unable to escape.

Ah ah ah ah ring around the rosie
Ah ah ah ah ah you don’t even know me
Ah ah ah ah pocket full of posies
Ah ah ah ah ah you don’t even know me

Lyrically it also feels sparse. The wording is ambiguous and scattered like gunfire. It is what is not said and the music that tells the story. The words feel more like reference points on a sea of sadness.

Baby’s got a bullet
A trigger don’t pull it
Cuz I already feel dead
Jill Andrews © Fairlight Hubbard
Jill Andrews © Fairlight Hubbard

Listening to “Walking Wounded” in the world as it is today is a very specific experience.

Many of us are simply putting one foot in front of the other each day and trying our hardest not to look too far forward or too far back, because one feels impossible and the other feels too sad. We are all carrying wounds that this time has inflicted upon us and as Andrews sings, some of us didn’t even know we were the walking wounded.

I’m walking wounded
Walking wounded
Never even, knew it
Walking wounded

Stream “Walking Wounded” exclusively on Atwood Magazine!

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Stream: “Walking Wounded” – Jill Andrews



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Walking Wounded - Jill Andrews

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