If you’ve paid attention to the names behind some of Milwaukee’s best music of the past five years or so, you’ve likely seen the name Ellie Jackson. The ever-busy Jackson has lent her talents to artists and bands like Caley Conway, Johanna Rose, Maximano, Old Pup, Social Caterpillar, and more. And while Jackson’s live solo shows are common, her recorded solo output is less so. That changed earlier this month with the release of two wonderful solo singles, “Dinner With A Friend” and “Dream Girl.” Listen to them now:
“Dinner With A Friend” is a perfectly poppy concoction tempered by Jackson’s slightly melancholy vocals. Frequent collaborators Barry Paul Clark, Devin Drobka, Josh Evert, and Conway all appear here, giving the song a delirious sugar rush. (Dig Evert’s organ work!) “Dream Girl,” meanwhile, is one of the first songs Jackson ever wrote. “I’m no one’s dream girl, blood runs through my veins,” she sings in the jangly chorus, handily torpedoing the idea of women serving as “muses” to men. Conway and Evert appear on this track, too (dig Conway’s Omnichord!), along with Cheston VanHuss.
“Moving forward, I just want to play shows with friends and collaborators that inspire me,” Jackson recently told Radio Milwaukee. “I want to play in spaces that inspire me, and I want to be really intentional about what resources I am getting and distributing among my band so that it’s worthwhile for everybody to put on a really great-feeling show.” Look for more of those great-feeling shows soon.