Recognizing an Exit From an Ambitious and Lonely Love

Music Premiere: "Gilot" by Surrija

At long last, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Jane Lui, who's making music these days under the name Surrija, will release her long-awaited fourth album next month. Surrija will be available on April 3.

It's a been a minute since Jane, a good friend to this website, dropped a full-length. While taking a break after her last record, 2010's Goodnight Company, Jane says she wasn't even sure she had another album in her. But when she finally did start writing again, she found inspiration half a world away, in Spain.

"When I felt the songs again, I hopped on a plane to Barcelona, locked myself in a room for three weeks, and material came rushing through," Jane shared during the new album's Kickstarter campaign. "During these Barcelona sessions, I deliberately wrote away from my normal tendencies to hatch an evolution."

The result: Surrija, and a haunting new electropop sound. We're proud to debut the new single, "Gilot."

In Barcelona, Jane became fascinated with the life and loves of one of the city's most famous artists. Half the songs on Surrija were written to six Pablo Picasso paintings of his muses and lovers -- and their complicated, often oppressive relationships.

"The deeper I went with his love history, the uglier it got: jealousy, abuse, misogyny. He manipulated them to stop creative endeavors of their own and even pitted them against each other," Jane says. "Behind the ovation he receives, little attention is ever paid to these women. So the paintings are a jumping-off point to give voices to Marie Therese Walter, Dora Maar, Fran├žoise Gilot, and Sylvette David."

"Gilot" is about renowned painter Fran├žoise Gilot, with whom Picasso had two children -- and the only woman in Picasso's life who left him. Known for their long, stormy relationship, Picasso unsuccessfully tried to block her from publishing her memoir My life with Picasso, an honest account that describes his cruel tendencies toward women. When she finally published it, he cut off all contact with their children. At 98 years old, she lives in New York and continues to exhibit her work.

Co-written with Albert Chiang, "Gilot" was produced by Surrija, Sophocles Papavasilopoulos and Maxwell Gualtieri. Jane says they scrapped an entire first version of the song, trying to find the right "feel."

"It didn't feel right and I needed to figure out what I'm trying to say," Jane shares. "It used to sound cool and collected but it never felt right. So I leaned into more complex emotions instead -- of knowing who you're with, how it will probably end, and recognizing an exit from an ambitious and lonely love."

Surrija will be available everywhere on April 3. You can pre-save the album on Spotify to enter a random drawing to receive a postcard from Jane Lui. (Jane sends great postcards.) For further information on Surrija and the album, visit surrija.com.

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