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  • Giavanna Gradaille

Review: "Playboy" - Jillian Steele

The Grecian word mythos is usually translated to mean story.

Over time, mythos has evolved into storytelling that’s grounded in fiction. In other words, these are stories where the imagination is allowed to run wild, and reality is escorted to the sidelines. But then we have mythos where the storytelling masquerades as reality despite being fictional – creating verisimilitude. Jillian Steele not only showcases a deep understanding of verisimilitude with her latest single, “Playboy”, but also a tight grasp on story structure. “Playboy” serves as a single chapter in a grander story Steele has been creating over this past year.

“Playboy” is a country-pop song that gives listeners’ insight on a turbulent relationship and the growing mental exhaustion that comes with it. Steele sings from the perspective of the partner enduring this exhaustion, and the root of the problem lies in mixed messages. The single opens with pensive piano notes while Steele provides some words of wisdom in the first verse. The songstress tells us: “Love, love is something to choose / That's not something you do”. Loving someone is a deliberate action – an action we consciously decide and choose to commit to daily despite whatever challenges lie ahead. But this notion has clearly been lost on the partner creating the exhaustion since they take off the moment things aren’t “perfect and sweet”. The character Steele is embodying has had enough of this disappearing act and is finally calling out their partner for not being continuously present in the relationship. In a breathtaking chorus with stylized strings, our artist draws a line in the sand: their partner can “play” all they want, Steele just won’t be waiting “with [their] hands in [their] pockets” anymore. They’ve essentially given their exhausting partner a definitive choice to make – “stay” or “walk away”. It’s a bold ultimatum that empowers Steele’s character and anyone that finds themselves dealing with a partner or love interest that has “one foot in, [and] one foot out” of the connection. However, listeners do not get to hear the decision that was made in this song. I think this decision lies in one of Steele’s earlier singles – “Forget About Forgetting Me”. Every song released between “Forget About Forgetting Me” and “Playboy” appears to serve as a chapter in this fictional couple’s relationship from beginning to end. The chapters have just been released out of sequential order – it’s brilliant and makes any puzzle fanatic (like myself) eager to listen to Steele’s discography to piece together the overall story she’s unveiling before listeners.

Jillian Steele is a New York transplant currently living in Nashville, Tennessee.

The indie pop singer and songwriter developed her love for performance arts very young; even kickstarting her career by acting and singing in commercials. In her late teens, Steele moved down south to Nashville. The move would prompt the artist to start writing her own songs, revealing the talent she has for storytelling and building immersive worlds. Fans based in Nashville can see Steele perform live on September 9th at The Eighth Room. Doors open to 21+ attendees at 7:00 P.M. and tickets for the performance can be found here. Fans bound elsewhere can still show the artist some virtual love in the form of streams, likes, follows, and by also pre-saving their upcoming single, “Cry For Cowboys”, set to release in late September.

Written by Giavanna Gradaille



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