Jillian Rae plays songs from her new album in The Current studio

Jillian Rae performs the song 'Inebriated' from her album, 'I Can't Be The One You Want Me To Be,' live in The Current studio. (Mary Mathis; Helen Teague | MPR)
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Jillian Rae - Full session + interview
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| 00:27:39
  • Jillian Rae - Full session + interview 27:39
  • Jillian Rae - Inebriated (Live at The Current) 04:35
  • Jillian Rae - White Walls (Live at The Current) 03:31
  • Jillian Rae - Shades of Grey (Live at The Current) 04:35

Well-known for playing violin, both as a solo artist and as a side player in various bands, Jillian Rae is in The Current studio playing guitar rather than violin. "It's so weird, isn't it?" she jokes.

On the cusp of the release of her new solo album, I Can't Be The One You Want Me To Be, Jillian Rae and her band visited The Current studio to play songs from the new album and to talk with Andrea Swensson.

The absence of the violin in the studio is by design, but it doesn't signal an abandonment of Rae's primary instrument. "The way I ended up recording the violin [for the album], I made orchestrated layered string parts for most of the songs," Rae explains, "so live it usually translates to me playing guitar, or there's a few that I'll play keys and synth on, and just very few on the new record that it makes sense to do."

The album marks an evolution of Jillian Rae, and the fact that some may expect to see her with a violin rather than with a guitar perfectly fits the theme. "I think it's just growth as a human being and as an artist for me," Rae says. "When we perform and I play my violin out of a pedal board, which I've been doing for years, I think it just took until recently to realize, 'Oh, I'm allowed to make all the sounds with my violin if I want to.' I sort of just ended up giving myself permission to not feel like I need to be strapped to a genre and just put out the sounds that I love and that I'm feeling with this collection of songs."

I Can't Be The One You Want Me To Be, as the album's title, extends the message of giving oneself permission to follow one's ambition. "I'm just going to basically say, 'Screw it,' and do my own thing," Rae explains. "That's really what all of these songs ended up being about, and I hope that message carries across to listeners. Like, if you feel like you are being pigeonholed in a box, maybe this will help inspire you not to be."

Jillian Rae also credits the theme to personal growth and a perspective brought by lived experience. "The timing of this record probably is no accident," she says. "I think it definitely is part of just spending more time on this earth and letting go and truly just not caring so much about all the things that — we realize as we get older — don't matter."

I Can't Be The One You Want Me To Be releases Friday, May 31, and will be celebrated that evening with an album-release party at the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis. Humbird and Graveyard Club round out the bill.

Use the audio player above to listen to the complete session with Jillian Rae.

More Video

Songs Performed


"Inebriated"
"White Walls"
"Shades of Grey"
All songs from Jillian Rae's 2019 album, I Can't Be The One You Want Me To Be.

Hosted by Andrea Swensson
Produced by Jesse Wiza
Engineered by Michael DeMark
Visuals by Mary Mathis and Helen Teague
Web feature by Luke Taylor

External Link

Jillian Rae - official site

7 Photos

  • Jillian Rae portrait at The Current
    Jillian Rae portrait at The Current (Mary Mathis | MPR)
  • Jillian Rae portrait at The Current
    Jillian Rae portrait at The Current (Mary Mathis | MPR)
  • Jillian Rae portrait at The Current
    Jillian Rae portrait at The Current (Mary Mathis | MPR)
  • Jillian Rae portrait at The Current
    Jillian Rae portrait at The Current (Mary Mathis | MPR)
  • Jillian Rae portrait at The Current
    Jillian Rae portrait at The Current (Mary Mathis | MPR)
  • Jillian Rae portrait at The Current
    Jillian Rae portrait at The Current (Mary Mathis | MPR)
  • Jillian Rae
    Jillian Rae, 'I Can't Be The One You Want Me To Be' releases May 31, 2019. (Artist)

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