11 Songs, 39 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

On her fifth album, JJ Heller keeps things sweet, simple and sincere. When I’m With You combines the empathetic songwriting touch of Sara Groves with the airy, playful spirit of Colbie Caillat. Heller’s wistful, understated vocal style matches the diary-like quality of her lyrics and the homespun folkiness of her melodies. Her love songs — particularly “Tell It Again,” “Boat Song” and “Until You Came Along” — have a wide-eyed honesty about them that transcends any sense of calculation or cliché. The breezy shuffle “When I’m With You,” addressed to her daughter Lucy, is especially winning. Heller’s Christian outlook is most clearly revealed in “Kingdom Come” (a humble, personal hymn) and “What Love Really Means” (a meditation upon God’s unconditional love). Among the more downbeat songs found here, “Olivianna” deals with the death of a young child with sensitivity and a measure of hope. JJ’s husband Dave's acoustic guitar work gives these tracks a warm, natural glow, enhanced by Mitch Dane and Ben Shive’s uncluttered production.

EDITORS’ NOTES

On her fifth album, JJ Heller keeps things sweet, simple and sincere. When I’m With You combines the empathetic songwriting touch of Sara Groves with the airy, playful spirit of Colbie Caillat. Heller’s wistful, understated vocal style matches the diary-like quality of her lyrics and the homespun folkiness of her melodies. Her love songs — particularly “Tell It Again,” “Boat Song” and “Until You Came Along” — have a wide-eyed honesty about them that transcends any sense of calculation or cliché. The breezy shuffle “When I’m With You,” addressed to her daughter Lucy, is especially winning. Heller’s Christian outlook is most clearly revealed in “Kingdom Come” (a humble, personal hymn) and “What Love Really Means” (a meditation upon God’s unconditional love). Among the more downbeat songs found here, “Olivianna” deals with the death of a young child with sensitivity and a measure of hope. JJ’s husband Dave's acoustic guitar work gives these tracks a warm, natural glow, enhanced by Mitch Dane and Ben Shive’s uncluttered production.

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2:47
3:56
3:29
3:49
3:49
3:05
4:20
3:42
3:35
3:54

About JJ Heller

Nashville, Tennessee-based singer/songwriter JJ Heller crafts atmospheric and contemplative faith-based country-folk songs in the vein of Sara Groves and Jill Phillips, with a foot in the mainstream that brings to mind artists like Jewel, Patty Griffin, and Alison Krauss. The native of California's Bay Area records and performs with longtime collaborator/guitarist/producer/husband David Heller, and released her debut, Songs That I Know, in 2004. Subsequent albums like Only Love Remains (2006) and The Pretty and the Plain (2007) further developed Heller's introspective style, though it was a song from her fourth album, Painted Red (2008), that would prove to be her commercial breakthrough. Reaching number 13 on Billboard's Christian songs chart, "Your Hands" set the stage for 2010's When I'm with You, which charted on both the Christian and folk album charts. An acoustic album, Deeper, arrived a year later and, in 2012, Heller got another boost when her song "When I'm with You" was covered by Jennifer Love Hewitt's character on the TV series The Client List. Another song, "Control," from the album Loved, appeared on a 2013 episode of One Tree Hill. Recording at a prolific pace, Heller's next two albums, 2014's I Dream of You and 2015's Sound of a Living Heart, both fared well on the folk and Christian charts, further proving her crossover appeal. Unto Us, Heller's first Christmas LP and second holiday-themed release following 2007's Wake Up the World EP, arrived in 2016. ~ James Christopher Monger

  • ORIGIN
    San Jose, CA
  • BORN
    October 19, 1980

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