lullabies

Lullabies & Annie - Day 21 #31DaysOfBlogging

So, here’s the deal: our friend Jenny was pregnant for the 3rd time.

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She had two little boys — one of which we are the proud Godmothers of (yes, still looking for Godfathers) but she was pregnant for maybe the last time and we wanted to do something special for her. See, since her boys were little, she’d been asking us to write a song for her kids to fall asleep to. So, we had this crazy idea to write her a whole album for this new baby she was carrying. We found out it was a girl and all was right in the world.

So, we did what we do, and started writing songs.

By the end, we had written an entire Lullabies album for this new little babe. Her name was Annie, but we were sworn to secrecy to not tell anyone. This album was for her (and her brothers) and we poured so much into it. Being at the end of this tremendously hard year of getting fired and facing all of these fears, it felt like a bright spot. We wrote songs that spoke life and hope and love over these little listening ears. We wanted these songs to communicate safety, hope and most importantly, love.

Since the album would be coming out before she was born, we could only put the instrumental version of the song on the album…because the actual song would’ve given away her name: Annie. But it’s weird. We wrote this song for this little love we’d never met, and yet, the song we wrote for her is TRUE.

Annie, Annie, the sun, it shines for you

Annie, Annie, our hearts beat for you too

You light up every room…You light up every room…

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She really does, you guys.

Here is a pic of us going to meet her in the hospital. Jenny had requested that we bring a guitar and play her HER SONG.

If that’s not the most #Nashville thing we’ve ever done…

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Look at what a little NUGGET she is. Just a couple hours old in the above pic. Annnnnd below is a pic of us with Annie & Jenny today. She is the light of every room and teaches us so much about joy. We cannot believe she turns 3 TODAY!

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You can hear her FULL (officially unreleased) song here: ANNIE

Tomorrow we are going to tell you more about songwriting and how our latest single, Nashville, came — literally — pouring out of us.

Much love,

Jill and Kate

Kicking off #31DaysofBlogging With A Free Gift!

Hey party people, it’s December 1st. Which means today is day number 1 for 31 days of blogging. Yeahhhh. We are excited and are so glad that you’re here and reading this right now. 

We are going to be blogging about all sorts of random, fun stuff this month, but we wanted to start out this blogging spree with A FREE GIFT! Holidays can be stressful and exhausting, so our gift to you is to help you rest and sleep. 

We have a whole album of lullabies that will help you sleep and hopefully bring peace to your home this holiday season (and well, every season after that too.)

It's been tried and tested AND we offer a money back guarantee. Just kidding, it's free so there is no money involved. 

Ok, that's all. This blogging season is going to be funnnnnnn.

Here's the link to grab the whole album for FREE!

DOWNLOAD HERE.

If you already have the album, pass it along to a friend!

Love and sugar-buzzes,

J&K

 

A {Guest Post} About Our Lullabies Album

Hey friends...Happy Friday!

We saw someone tweet a link to a blog about our recent Lullabies album a few days ago and after reading it we HAD to share it with y'all. Reading her words reminds us of two things:

  1. We are all in this together. 
  2. Music has power to change us. 

So, without rambling on, and with her permission, please read these beautiful words. We hope they inspire and move you as much as they did us. Thanks Megan (@mcaro05) for your honesty, openness and for sharing your story. Much love...j&k

Lullabies

When I was in high school, a loved one was suffering from severe depression. I remember another wise friend of mine saying to this person "you need to arm yourself with the necessary tools to fight this." I loved that phrase then and I love it now. Whenever I find myself struggling, I go back to those words. Over the years I've personally found solace in many different "tools:" prayer, writing, talking it out, and, most recently, working out. I've found all of these things to help clear my head, to give me confidence, and to bring me comfort, and peace. But above all of these things, there's one that stands above the rest:

Music.

Music brings something out in me like nothing else can. I am so often comforted by lyrics or a melody. I have certain songs that I turn to for nearly every mood. When it comes down to it, music is there for me. And no matter the genre, I can always find something that sparks a fire in me, or something that brings me peace. And as someone who is very often filled with worry, peace is something I long for.

Nighttime is a parade of worry. It's like as soon as the world starts to calm down, my brain decides it's the perfect time to craft to do lists, negative thoughts, long term worries, and overall emotion. I've struggled with this for several years. There are nights I only get a few hours of sleep because I simply cannot get my brain to settle. I've tried nearly every remedy: meditation, prayer, Melatonin, oils, deep breathing, the list goes on and on. And usually, these things work. For a short time. And then it's back to the struggle. 

Music, though, has once again come to the rescue. A few months ago, one of my favorite musical acts, Jill and Kate, released an album called "Lullabies." And. As the title suggests, it is an album of lullabies that they wrote. The duo surprised a good friend for her baby shower, as this friend had been requesting this kind of album from Jill and Kate. 

So, at 28 years old, I decided to give this album a try to help me sleep. And it's worked. The songs are so beautiful and pure. Each song is special for its own reason, but the song "Sunshine" brings me a unique sense of comfort. I could see that most would think the song is intended to be a parent's message to their child, but when I listen I imagine it's God's words to me. I take great comfort in knowing that God is on my side. This song has done wonders for my prayer life.

I never quite make it through the whole album without falling into a peaceful sleep. I just put it on shuffle and let it do its work. I find something new every night. 

I don't usually listen to the album during the day. I kind of like to have it saved. I don't want it to lose it's magic. I do, however, turn to it in moments of panic, when I need something to bring me back down. 

I've been trying to figure out the best way to share the impact this album has had on me. It didn't seem enough to just post a Facebook status. This album is so much more. It's my safety net, it's the words I need to hear, and it's the tool I use to arm myself for battle. My hope is that by sharing this, others who may struggle with nighttime anxiety or insomnia will take a listen and find just as much comfort as I do.

And while you're at it, check out Jill and Kate's other music. Those two have something so special. Their songs are written from the heart and they harmonize so beautifully. Their music has been part of my life for several years now, and I'm super grateful for that.

You can find Lullabies on ITunesSpotify, or Amazon.

 

 

 

 

Shots! Shots! Shots! (#31DaysofBlogging)

This blog is a part of a series #31DaysofBlogging … we are going through the year (2015) chronologically.

Making the LULLABIES album was definitely a highlight of 2015. You can read more about how we got the idea to make it here, but now we wanted to tell you two fun side-stories about LULLABIES….

1) 

Our friend Jenny (who we made the album for) needed shots once a week for 12 weeks of her pregnancy and she asked us if one of us would learn how to do it so she didn’t have to go to the hospital once a week for an appointment just to get a quick shot. Now, we all know how Jill feels about needles or blood or anything medically related….she is NOT having it.

So, that left me, Kate. Nurse Kate, apparently. I went to the Dr with Jenny and Nurse Donna taught Nurse Kate here how to give a shot {insert all the fear and emotion here.} Not only was I going to have to stick a needle into my freind, I also had the pressure of not paralyzing her in the process. The shots went into her “lower back area--upper gluteous maximus” if you get my gist. The first time I did it, my hands were shaking and I reconfirmed that my calling in life is music, not nursing. OMG, how do you guys do it? Mad respect.

Anyhow...we made it through...the process got easier and let’s just say that only one time did I almost give her a shot with the wrong sized needle. Oopsies. And by almost, I mean I definitely stuck her with the needle, panicked, knew something was wrong, and then stopped. OMG. But, all the other times it was great and there is definitely a new bond that forms with a friend after going through something like that together.

Here’s a picture of our last shot on Tuesday...just 2 days before we surprised her with the album.

So, if any of you ever need a shot--I’m your gal. Well, probably not. I’m kind of glad that I don’t have to do it anymore. But, I didn’t know 2015 was going to be the year that I learned how to give shots. Who knows what next year will hold?? Nurse Kate, signing off

2)

We wanted to tell you a bit about how one of the songs was written. We were at a conference and we heard a friend, Jami Nato, speak. She has an incredible story--she’s writing a book and we cannot wait to read it because it’s going to change people's lives. Follow her here and stay up to date with all of her goings-ons because she’s amazing. That's Jami upfront, next to Jill in the rockin' shades. And our other BFF Whitney in the back with Kate.

Anyway--she spoke at the conference and she said something that really moved us. She is a mom to four littles and she said she doesn’t tell her kids to “be brave” or “be kind.” She tells them to ask God to help them to be brave or be kind. That we can’t do it on our own. That we need God to fill the gap, to change our hearts when we can’t do it on our own. YES. We love this thought and concept. It’s simple, but it’s huge.

There are so many things that we think we can do in our own strength, but we can’t. Not on our own. We need to ask for help. So we wrote, “Love Be Near.” It’s a prayer asking for God to be near us and to help us hour by hour, day by day.

Below are the lyrics. We hope they are a reminder of a small prayer we can all sing in our hearts.

Who can believe tomorrow is the last day of 2015?? Wow.

Much love,

Jill and Kate

 

LOVE BE NEAR

Help me be brave

Help me be strong

Help me choose right over wrong

Love be near me now

Love be near me now

 

Help me not fear

Help me to grow

Help me to know I’m never alone

Love be near me now

Love be near me now

 

Help me be kind

Help me be free

Help me always see what you see

Love be near me now

Love be near me now

 

Love be near

Love be near

Love be near me now

Love be near me now

 

Help me to sing

This song in my heart

Be a light in the dark

Love be near me now

Love be near me now

© Jill and Kate, 2015.

 

 

 

 

Chicago & Stories (#31DaysofBlogging)

This blog is a part of a series #31DaysofBlogging … we are going through the year (2015) chronologically.

In November we had the opportunity to go to Chicago to attend a conference called Storyline. This conference is put on by Donald Miller and it has been going on for 6 or 7 years. We have always wanted to go, but have never been able to make it work. 

This year, we knew a bunch of our friends were going to be there and our calendar just happened to be open! :) Again, anytime our friends are going to be somewhere, it doesn't take much convincing to make a plan to be there!

So we hopped in the car and headed to Chicago. It's about an 8 hour drive and the weather was perfect. That almost never happens when driving to Chicago, so we knew this was bound to be a good couple of days. 

And that it was. 

This conference is 2.5 days filled to the brim with inspiring people, challenging ideas, and fun times. It came at the perfect time for us...we were mostly recovered from the hard-knocks that came earlier in the year and we were ready to be inspired and start planning for what was ahead. And it wasn't just planning. We were learning from some of the greatest thinkers/world impacters around. We were trying to absorb as much as possible so that we can become better writers/speakers/humans, etc. Sometimes you just need to step outside of your own world...out of your own head...and hear some fresh ideas and perspectives. We always want to be open to being taught. We are never done learning.

(We were so fortunate this year to have a few opportunities to do this---remember we got to hear Brene Brown speak a few weeks before? And we got to go to another conference with our friend Whitney and meet so many inspiring people there. All of these experiences refreshed us and got us excited to do new things in the world of J&K.)

Storyline is a place where creative people all get together and learn how to live a better story. Don took us through the art of story and it was fascinating. He taught us that great characters in stories TAKE ACTION. Yes. We love that. Guys, we all write so much of our own stories...but not all of it! There's so much out of our control. But at the same time, we have a lot of control in how we deal with the ups and downs of life. How we use the negative turns and make them positive.

There's a lot in life that we get to choose.

Remember "Choose Your Own Adventure" books from when we were kids? That's life sometimes. Especially in this country and in this day-in-age, we are free and able to do so many things! We can turn to pages that we pick...they aren't always picked for us. We don't have to be stuck. We can have dreams. And we can chase those dreams. And more importantly in all of this, we can choose our attitudes...how we approach this life that we get. Now, we don't know about you, but we think that's HUGE.:) 

While at Storyline we also got to play a few songs for the conference attendees. That was super awesome. We love playing wherever we can and it was cool to be in a room full of so many dreamers getting to play some of our songs for them.

We left after those couple days in Chicago and drove back home with full hearts and full minds. We were full of new ideas and renewed dreams. 

Tomorrow we'll tell you about how/find/who/what/where and when we decided to record LULLABIES.

Until tomorrow...

xo

J&K

 

Annie's Arrival (#31DaysofBlogging)

This blog is a part of a series #31DaysofBlogging … we are going through the year (2015) chronologically.

You guys. We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming of blogging through 2015 to share this news:

Our best friend Jenny, who we wrote the LULLABIES album for, HAD her baby yesterday morning.

Holy love fest....her name is Annie and she is perfect. I (Kate) was supposed to leave on a 5:30am flight but ended up changing my flight last minute so I could meet her before heading home to Colorado for Christmas. Best decision of my life. Hahaha....no seriously. We got to meet her an hour after she was born and she is absolutely perfect. Our BFF Jenny was a champion and we are so proud and excited for their newest addition to their already incredible family.

Here’s the thing. We wrote the whole Lullabies album with Annie (and her brothers Jackson & Micah) in mind and here’s the fun part: If you have the album, song #3 “You Light Up Every Room” is just piano...well, that’s because we actually wrote a whole song with lyrics too but couldn’t reveal her name...If you want to hear the FULL version of “Annie (You Light Up Every Room)” you can listen soon! 

So, picture this:

Annie is born. John texts us. We jump up and down and go with Jenny’s mom, and Jackson & Micah (her new big brothers) to the hospital. We meet Annie. We get all googly eyed because she is HEAVEN. And yes, we did the most Nashville thing ever. Jill brought her baby Martin guitar (pun intended) to the hospital and WE PLAYED ANNIE HER SONG. We played Annie, Annie. Ahhhhhh!!!! We cried and we laughed and we celebrated this amazing new life. Life is such a gift.

Here we are going into the maternity ward with a guitar...hahaha. #onlyinNashville

Here we are going into the maternity ward with a guitar...hahaha. #onlyinNashville

We are so excited that we just HAD to share with y’all.

Ok, that’s all. We Hope that your December 21st was as memorable as ours was. Back to our regularly scheduled #31DaysOfBlogging tomorrow!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS.

j&k

SUNSHINE (#31DaysofBlogging)

This blog is a part of a series #31DaysofBlogging … we are going through the year (2015) chronologically.

Hi friends!

Another thing that made 2015 kind of crazy for us is that we stopped doing Song on the 17th in January. If you're new you might be thinking...what the heck is song on the 17th? For the past 6 years, every 17th of the month we post a song to Youtube/FB...either it's a new song we've just written or it's a cover...we've posted songs from backstage dressing rooms, kitchen floors and anywhere else you can record a video...haha...it's been a really fun way to share our music with fans. But, in January, after 6 years, we needed to take a short break. So, we did. 

Then in September we started it up again...woohoo! If you're super bored, go to our YouTube page and cruise through the Song on the 17th playlist...there are a bunch of vids.

So, here is our SOT17 for this month: SUNSHINE!

We hope you like the song! It's on our brand new #LULLABIES album which you can DOWNLOAD right this very second. Or, if you are in need of last minute Christmas gifting, you can buy physical copies and they'll arrive before Christmas...but hurry--the deadline is tonight at midnight. 

Tune in tomorrow...the blogging through 2015 continues!!!

Love,

j&k

New Albums in 2015 (#31DaysofBlogging)

As today we put out a brand NEW album...LULLABIES....today’s blogging train takes us to a different album we released this year, ELEVEN.

Flashback with us for a moment if you will:

It’s 2005. We are still just starting out as “Jill and Kate” and we are driving across the country for one reason or another. (Can’t remember exactly why, but it likely involved us playing really awkward open mics at venues with names like “Uncle Buck’s Rock & Roll Grill” or “The Fat Bean Coffeehouse.”) *True*

Anyways. We stop in NYC to see a friend of ours who worked at a big record label there. She gives us a huge stack of CD’s to listen to on our road trip. Some were older bands with new records and some were brand new bands. So we work our way through the stack...and about the 3rd CD we pop in, we hear this band that we begin to FLIP OUT OVER.

“Everyone knows I’m in over my head, over my head….with 8 seconds left in overtime, she’s on your mind, she’s on your mind….”

REPEAT. REPEAT. REPEAT.

The band was called The Fray and they were about to explode. And little ol’ J&K over here were their new biggest fans. We wore that album OUT for the rest of that year.

Now Flash Forward with us...to 2012.

We are singing backup for Kelly Clarkson and we find out that the summer tour is going to be a co-headlining tour with...THE FRAY. We were so stoked. Their music had been the soundtrack to so many of our long drives from city to city in our silver minivan playing our little hearts out across this country over the last 7 years.

So we toured with The Fray all summer and got to know the guys in the band really well. They were as super as we’d hoped they would be.

When we got off the road, we continued to hang out with Dave Welsh (the ridiculously talented guitar player in The Fray) and his hilarious wife Emily in Nashville. He produced some re-mixes of some of our songs from Heart Of Stone and we started talking about making some new music together. Enter our album: ELEVEN.

So, back to current day….

On February 17 of this year, we released our album ELEVEN which was produced by Dave Welsh of The Fray. And Ben Wysocki, drummer in The Fray, played drums on it. We were so stoked for you guys to hear this album. It was different for us. More pop. More production. Songs that we wrote that reflected on our 11 years of working together. An album that was produced by someone who we were a fan of 10 years before. Crazy.

We put this album out in the midst of a strange time. We didn’t get to promote it as much as we would’ve liked. We were waiting to see what was going to happen with the reality show.

ELEVEN was recorded in our 11th year of working together. We have journeyed through a lot in those 11 years and we had no idea what was about to come in year 12….more on that as #31DaysOfBlogging continues….

{Side note}: DREAM BIG, guys. Don’t limit your dreams and goals. Who would’ve thought in 2005 when we were just hearing about this new band, The Fray, that several years later, one of them would be producing OUR album? It’s crazy.
Same with us singing with Kelly. Who would’ve thought that when we were rockin’ out to SUBG with the rest of the world in our cars, we’d be singing that WITH her every night on stage for 6 years? Don’t ever forget that you can dream big and expect GREAT things. Life is one huge opportunity. 
Much love.....j&k

 


 

 

 

Why We Made A LULLABIES Album

SURPRISE! We made a LULLABIES ALBUM!

You can now pre-order our brand new LULLABIES album right here, right now, with a world-wide digital release coming December 4th, 2015! When you pre-order, you receive an autographed copy of the physical album that will ship before the release, one of the tracks, “Angels Watching Over You” immediately, AND $5 of every pre-order is being donated to the amazing kids at Houses of Hope Africa.

Here is the story on why we made an album full of lullabies.

One of our best friends, Jenny, is a mom of two boys (Jackson & Micah) and she’s been asking for well over four years for us to make her an album of songs that her kids can fall asleep to. Well, she is pregnant again and so we decided now was the time. We decided to surprise her with the gift of the album at her baby shower, which happened last night (!!!) The pic was taken a minute after we surprised her!

You guys...keeping this secret was pretty much pure torture since she is one of our best friends. But, the surprise was so awesome! She didn’t know that we’ve spent the last few months writing and recording these songs and to finally be able to talk about it and share it with her and with YOU GUYS makes us SO happy.

When we started we thought, “Ok, let’s write some kids’ songs.” But as we got into the project we realized we had the opportunity to speak important words over these little ones. These are words that will play while they drift off into unconsciousness and all of a sudden we took writing this album very seriously. What do we want these little friends to know? What do we want to be reconfirmed in their hearts and minds? We have the chance to speak life, joy, dreams, and love over them. Then as the songs began to come out we realized that adults could relate to most of these messages just as much as kids. So yes, while lullabies are generally for kids, we think these songs are for the kid and the kid in the adult in all of us.

Night time can be a scary time. Just the darkness of night can sometimes feel overwhelming. It can be a time of loneliness and restlessness. Not sure if it’s this way for you, but for us, that can be the time that fear, anxiety and worry starts to creep into our minds. That’s when doubt starts to rise within us from our core. The silence and darkness can fill those voids with negative voices. Having experienced those very things firsthand, we decided to start writing from that perspective. What could be the antidote to those thoughts? What would we want spoken over our own children if we had them? What would we have wanted spoken over us when we were young? What do we want to speak over ourselves now?

Words that speak peace, unconditional love, and hope. Child-like prayers. The ability to dream big dreams and believe that anything is possible. Asking God to be near us. Words that remind us that we are safe. That we can be brave. What if we replaced the negative voices with ones of love and positivity? That’s what we wanted these songs to communicate.

We wanted this album to be different...and it is. We’ve never done anything like this before. We set out with a goal in mind that really came out of a desire to give a gift to a friend. But, like life, the outcome was different than we could’ve ever imagined.

We’ve also never released anything that no one has ever heard before. So it’s extra exciting and who doesn’t love a good surprise? Woohoo! Thank you to our amazing fans that have waited patiently for new music. Thank you for being the ones we thought of as we made this album...we kept thinking...man, we hope (fill in your name here) will like it.

We hope that this album resonates with your soul. That it lulls you to sleep. That it brings hope. That it brings peaceful sleep.

Let us all help each other walk in positivity towards the light.

Much love,

Jill and Kate