Jill Sobule acknowledges that the nearly decade-long gap between albums was due to procrastination.
"I went through an extended period time finding other things and avoiding doing a new album," says Sobule, whose new Nostalgia Kills comes out Sept. 14, with the track "I Don't Wanna Wake Up" premiering exclusively below. "There were things that happened in my life -- the death a parent, a breakup, a move. I was my own procrastinatrix, is what I call it. But I think those kind jostle you back into the creative mode, and I started loving music again -- loving listening, loving writing and the original spirit why I did this in the first place, I suppose.
"It's like you get hit in the head and something happens -- but it's a good concussion."
Sobule -- who came to prominence with "I Kissed a Girl" back in 1995 -- hasn't been entirely idle since 2009's California Years. While amassing more than 100 songs, she's also worked on stage musical such as Prozak and the Platypus and the in-progress one-woman show #Fuck7thGrade, which will use some Nostalgia Kills' songs, as well as the Jill and Julia review with actress Julia Sweeney. The past couple years, however, began yielding material that steered Sobule back into the studio for an album her own.
"I had no label saying, 'We need to get this out right away!' or anything like that, which was a blessing and curse," Sobule notes. Nostalgia Kills was produced by her good friend and fellow artist Ben Lee, recorded at his home studio in Los Angeles with guests such as X's John Doe, the MC5's Wayne Kramer, Richard Barone the Bongos, That Dog's Petra Haden and Jellyfish alumnus Roger Joseph Manning Jr. Noting the album's wide stylistic sweep, Sobule says that "it feels like it's a book short stories that have similar feelings to them. It has a narrative. It's a look back and my life and very biographical, but at the same time the title track says it all -- Nostalgia kills. You've got to keep moving or die. Let's watch it today, but put it away." And certainly songs, including the spare, vibey "I Don't Wanna Wake Up," are "actually a look forward" -- with some hallucinatory assistance -- for Sobule.
"That was written after a breakup," Sobule recalls. "I was just at the beginning writing a little short story, so I had no music for it -- maybe the first verse. It was the night a friend gave me some mushrooms, so I was microdosing and I was also reading -- I think it might have been Karen Armstrong's A History God. That's why there are a lot Biblical references, Old Testament references. It's hard to translate the exact meaning that song; Some them are more direct storytelling, but this one's a little trippy. And I had some strange program on my iPad where one the settings was called Krautrock, and I messed with that and found this little drumbeat that we used. It's got that mix organic and inorganic."
Sobule hits the road to start hawking Nostalgia Kills on Sept. 13 in Woodstock. N.Y., and has sporadic shows booked into December. #Fuck7thGrade, meanwhile, is due to workshop at the Pittsburgh City Theater during November. "I love performing, and I love telling the stories the songs," Sobule says. "It feels good putting something new out again. It really has been too long."