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Song You Need to Know: Jillian Jacqueline’s “Sad Girls”

Country-pop singer offers a depiction of grueling relationship worthy of Liz Phair

Jillian Jacqueline

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“White lies, red wine,” sings country-pop performer Jillian Jacqueline in the impressionistic verses of “Sad Girls,” a delicate, acoustic ballad from her new Side B EP. From the way Jacqueline depicts the end of a relationship, it’s possible those lies are both a cause of the breakup and a coping mechanism to help her get past it. Penned by Jacqueline with her producer Tofer Brown and ace singer-songwriter Lori McKenna (“Girl Crush”), it plays out in scenes reminiscent of Liz Phair’s immortal “Divorce Song,” with a rainy midnight car ride providing its claustrophobic setting.

That agonizing ride is a metaphor for the whole relationship, of course, with Jacqueline feeling stuck and a long way from home. “And the way he says he’s sorry / makes you feel so small,” she sighs, understanding that she desperately needs a change but knows she won’t be able to walk out the door head held high, like a movie heroine would. But that’s what makes “Sad Girls” so great — Jacqueline treats heartbreak not as a grand crescendo, but as quietly devastating attrition that eventually reduces us to dust.

 

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