Jill Sobule is a Denver-born, Los Angeles based singer-writer in the smart and witty tradition of Randy Newman and Warren Zevon . Over 11 albums and more than two decades of recording and performing, Jill has mused, with great compassion, empathy, wit and considerable charm on a wide range of subjects including the death penalty, depression, anorexia, shoplifting, alzheimer’s disease, coming of age, intolerance, and the Christian right.
Her recording career began in 1990 with her debut album Things Here are Different, produced by Todd Rundgren. She found commercial and critical success a few years later with her 1995 self-titled album, which introduced a large radio audiences , and adoring critics, to her witty and personal songcraft. “Jill Sobule” included the original (and oft-banned) “I Kissed A Girl” as well as the satirical gem “Supermodel” which was featured on the hit soundtrack of the movie Clueless. Since then, she has continued to record, produce and tour with an ever-growing loyal fan base and to critical acclaim. Her 2000 album “Pink Pearl” rightly takes its place among the most thoughtful, diverse and funny albums of the decade, taking on topics of faith, heartbreak, anorexia, and infidelity. Jill is considered among her peers as a pioneer in crowd sourcing and connecting directly with her audience without record company interference. Through her website “Jillsnextrecord.com” she completely funded the California Years, which continued to showcase her exceptional songwriting. Jill’s innovative, tiered system of contributions and rewards formed the foundation for the Kickstarter.com model. She continues to be at the forefront of exploring and creating new models for artists in an ever-changing changing music industry, including personally connecting with fans through house concerts and her active engagement in social media.
Jill has performed with Neil Young, Billy Bragg, Steve Earle, Cyndi Lauper, Tom Morello, Warren Zevon and John Doe, and she inducted Neil Diamond into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. She has shared billing with Don Henley, Warren Zevon and the influential punk band X. She can be seen live as a solo performer as well as the co-star of the Jill & Julia Show, an unusual and mesmerizing combination of song and storytelling in collaboration with comedian/actress/author Julia Sweeney. Jill also served as songwriter/composer for the hit Nickelodeon network show “Unfabulous” during that show’s three-season run. She composed the music for the off-Broadway show “Prozak and Platypus.” Her songs have appeared in a multitude of films including Mind the Gap, in which Jill herself co-starred, as well as television shows including “Girls.” She has been a political troubadour for NPR stations across America, has contributed essays to the Huffington Post, and regularly performs at TED conferences.
Jill is also known for her many charitable performances, including most recently performing for inmates in prisons throughout the country.
Jill remains a prolific, and diverse, writer and performer. Her latest studio release, “Dottie’s Charms,” is the newest example of Jill’s creativity and her whimsy. “Dottie’s” is collaboration between her and 11 of her favorite authors, including Rick Moody, David Hajdu and Jonathon Lathem, in which Jill tasked each to write a song based on a charm from a bracelet Jill purchased on Ebay. Jill then put the words to music. Jill’s idea was to bring the bracelet’s previous owner, “Dottie,” to life by imagining the importance of each charm to her life.
Jill’s latest projects include a re-imagining of the 1970 Broadway play “Yentl.” Jill wrote the music for the production, which ran at the Asolo Reperory Theater in Sarasota Florida, and has a scheduled run at Theater J in Washington D.C in the Fall of 2014. Jill is also working with Steve Cossin (The Civillians), Jim Lewis (FELA) and Robin Eaton (a longtime collaborator) on an original musical called Times Square.
In the words of New York Times pop music critic Jon Pareles, “Jill Sobule can claim her place among the stellar New York singer-songwriters of the last decade. Topical, funny and more than a little poignant…grown-up music for an adolescent age.”