After a nearly 10-year hiatus from writing and recording, acclaimed DC-based singer/songwriter Juliet Lloyd announces the release of High Road, an EP containing five new songs, available on streaming platforms everywhere on July 6.
“It seems like music is the one thing I keep coming back to,” Lloyd says, acknowledging a career that began nearly 20 years ago and has spanned multiple cities and states and a number of professional and personal changes. “High Road is a set of songs that has taken a long time to come out, but I feel like I needed that time, that break, for them to be what they are.” Stylistically, the album shares some traits with Lloyd’s earlier, piano-driven pop—but this time tinged with a sweeter country edge to complement her signature R&B vocals.
The album’s title track is a soulful, throwback ballad that evokes the frustration of keeping your true thoughts about someone to yourself. “We’ve had all that person that you want to tell off, and how it can eat you up inside when you don’t have the chance to say what you really want to,” Lloyd explains. Along with the shimmering “Ghost Light,” a single off the album that was released earlier in 2022, the pair of songs won Lloyd the grand prize in the 2022 Bernard/Ebb Songwriting Competition, which recognizes the best songwriting talent in the DC area.
Prior to this, Lloyd’s last full-length album, Leave the Light On, was released in 2007. At the time, she was proclaimed to be “on the cusp of stardom” by The Boston Globe, which recognized the album for being “an astonishingly slick independent CD with a big studio sound.” Of the album’s 11 tracks, five were featured on television shows on MTV and VH1 including “The Real World,” “The Hills” and “Tough Love,” in addition to being added into rotation at more than 175 radio stations across the country. At the time of the album’s release, Lloyd was making a name for herself in Boston, having attended Berklee College of Music to study songwriting and being named WBZ-TV’s ‘best female vocalist’ in the city. Critics have long hailed Lloyd’s vocal stylings, saying she can “move you from uncontrollable dancing to the brink of tears within a moment” (Rochester Insider).
The strength of her voice is on full display on High Road. “I think I know better now how to use my voice in a way that I didn’t when I was in my 20s,” Lloyd admits. Two of the album’s standout tracks, the heartbreaking “Lie With Me” and the delicate “Starting Something” both embrace country influences. Lloyd chalks that up to spending time in Virginia and fielding tons of requests to perform country cover songs. “It really snuck in there without me being fully aware of it,” Lloyd says. “Both of these songs had been percolating in my brain for a couple of years, but it was almost like I was afraid to let them out and have me be labeled a full-on country artist. I think we found a way for it to be one of many influences on my sound.”
After moving to the DC area more than 10 years ago, Lloyd’s music took a backseat to a successful corporate career. She continued to perform occasionally at small venues around the area until the pandemic in 2020. “Coming out of the pandemic, I suddenly had this urge to write and perform a lot more,” Lloyd says. “It’s like I finally had things to say again.” And with this came an avalanche of opportunity, as Lloyd has found herself playing upwards of 150 shows a year around the DC area.
“I’m so excited to finally have new music to share—both with the people who have supported me since day one almost 20 years ago, and with those who have just discovered me over the past couple of years playing so many local shows,” Lloyd says. “And this truly is the start of something…or the restart of something.”
High Road Track List
1. Starting Something
2. High Road
3. Over You
4. Lie With Me
5. Ghost Light
High Res Cover Art [download here]