Gretta Ziller Releases New Single ‘Ain’t Even Your Lover’
Critically acclaimed Americana artist Gretta Ziller has released Ain’t Even Your Lover, the lead single from her eagerly anticipated third album. A cheeky, upbeat little number – with pulsing riffs, catchy melodies, jubilant brass and a defiant spirit, Ain’t Even Your Lover was born in lock down and is all about moving on; strutting away from a toxic relationship with a renewed sense of self and head held high.
Ain’t Even Your Lover originated in early 2020 when Gretta joined a weekly songwriting club. The club was hosted by Sam Hawksley, a Nashville-based Australian singer-songwriter and guitarist. Participants were emailed topics to use as jumping-off points and Gretta admits she found writing in this way – as an experiment, prioritising creative expression over the pressure to write a ‘good’ song – liberating.
Both of Gretta’s previous records – 2017’s debut Queen Of Boomtown set and 2021’s Judas Tree, her self-described “breakup album” (about a friendship breakup) – were long listed for the prestigious Australian Music Prize. Gretta has accrued two Golden Guitar nominations throughout the course of her career and singles out supporting Ian Moss & Troy Cassar-Daley on their ‘Together Alone’ tour as another highlight. Gretta tells Hi Fi Way more about the single.
How are things tracking with your forthcoming third album and how do you think you’ll feel when it’s finished?
Each album I’ve done I’ve think it’s been equal parts excitement & worry! I start out really excited about it and excited about the songs till I get to recording process!! Then the worry sets in (My producer Paul Ruske can attest to this … the number of ‘is it good enough’ conversations we’ve had over the years!!!) But I guess that’s part of creating art, if I wasn’t worried about if it’s good or if it’s better than the last album then I’m not striving to be better. I think the day I stop stressing is probably the day I stop creating.
Did you feel as if the work you have done so far on album number three really challenged you in more ways than ever before?
I definitely think album three had its own set of challenges! My second album Judas Tree was lyrically quite dark and I didn’t want to repeat that with album three. So I was conscious about the subject matter and themes. But also we got to do some new things in this album which were exciting! It was the first time where we’ve done all the band tracks live in the one room, I also did live vocals .. haha, that was exhausting!! I sang for five days, well to be honest the fifth day wasn’t so great!!
How was the experience of being in a song writing club?
Songwriting club saved my lock downs!! I started in the club March of 2020 and bowed out March of 2021. It was such a freeing experience, there was no expectations on making good music. We were emailed a theme for the week and expected to send back a finished(ish) song at the end of the week.
Will all those songs find their way on to something?
Definitely no!!! Haha! Most of the songs were not great!! In saying that, there were a number that did make it to album three. They were either re-written, tweaked or had parts stolen to make a new song!
What’s the story behind lead single Ain’t Even Your Lover?
Ain’t Even Your Lover is a bit of a tongue in cheek reflection on a few relationships I let go of in lock downs. I was able to reset and re-evaluate what’s important to me. One of the things I felt like I detoxed from were the takers in my life. I emotionally removed them from my orbit, and wrote a cheeky song about it !!!
Did everything go to plan recording the album?
Working with Paul (Ruske) is always fantastic. We map out everything, take our time doing pre production. So that when we get to recording the only thing that’s left to do is to press record and let it happen.
Sonically, do you think there has been much change in your sound between albums?
I hope listeners can hear the evolution of my sound. I would hate for people to listen to my work and think I’ve done the same thing twice. I’ve also stopped worrying about trying to fit into a genre box, that’s wonderfully freeing!!! I love so many styles of music and that reflects in my writing.
Were there any significant influences for this album?
I definitely had some influences whilst writing for the album, I was listening to a lot of HAIM, Bishop Briggs and Foy Vance on top of my staples of Bruce Springsteen, Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle & Brooks & Dunn!!!
Do you have any sort special celebration planned for release day?
Sadly I don’t, if I’m not gigging release days are generally spent doing admin… very unglamorous in know!!! Maybe I should start one, I’m open to suggestions!
Are you excited to be returning to play in Adelaide at The Gov with Ian Moss & Ian Cassar-Daley?
I am so looking forward to supporting Ian Moss & Troy Cassar-Daley! You can tell they love music. They love playing guitar and they love sharing that with each other and their audiences. It is such amazing to be a part of that.
Interview By Rob Lyon
Connect with Gretta Ziller
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Catch Gretta Zilla supporting Ian Moss & Troy Cassar-Daley at The Gov on Thursday 9 March (Sold Out)…