When serendipity and opportunity collide, there’s only one thing to say. Singer and songwriter Janelle Kroll realized the appropriate response upon relocating to New York from her native Chicago in 2013. “Life is so unpredictable and erratic that you just need to show up, be prepared, and say, ‘Yes,’” she explains. “I like to get out of my element, challenge myself, and show up somewhere nobody needs me to be. That’s where I’ve been able to make a mark.”
Thus far, she’s continually delivered when these moments present themselves. In 2014, she went from singing lead vox on tour with Big Data to penning songs for Estelle by subscribing to that philosophy. However, she formally introduced her soulful pop with the bright harmonies and nocturnal R&B of 2015’s independently released “Sunny Days.”
Spotify chose the track for its coveted New Music Tuesday Playlist. It went Top 10 on the hub’s U.S. Viral Chart and Top 15 on the Global Viral Chart, and amidst the flurry of the release was invited to play Lollapalooza 2015. The track serves as a fitting gateway into her sultry and sensual delivery and towering dynamics.
“The song feels universal, but it’s also highly personal at the same time,” she shares. “You want to stop thinking about that person who’s under your skin. The best case scenario would be that it works out and you get through to them, but you know you just need to move on. In my music I’m most interested in exposing dualities, tension points, from which I can dive in. And from there all I can do is be as honest as possible.”
“Sunny Days” heralds the release of her debut EP. Throughout, she strikes a delicate balance between pop brightness and electronic R&B dusk. Her airy take on Joni Mitchell’s “Down To You (My Confidante)” clearly illustrates that push-and-pull.
Everything springs from a singular style that veers left from indie music’s typical posturing. She coyly dubs her sound, “dependent music,” adding “I sing about emotional dependencies.”
It’s that kind of openness which makes you want to say, “Yes” to her.