IAN SWEET





ABOUT

Reciting mantras is a form of teaching — leaning into the repetition, retraining your brain, learning new realities. For Jilian Medford, it was a way to fight through her anxieties. And here, on Show Me How You Disappear, through a haze of tangled, inverted pop, her new truths push their way to the surface.

Mesmeric and kaleidoscopic, shimmering with electrified unease, Show Me How You Disappear is both an exercise in self-forgiveness and an eventual understanding of unresolved trauma. Medford’s third record as IAN SWEET unfolds at an acute juncture in her life, charting from a mental health crisis to an intensive healing process and what comes after. How do you control the thoughts that control you? What does it mean to get better? What does it mean to have a relationship with yourself?

The inklings for the record began slowly. In 2018, Medford wrote “Dumb Driver” on an acoustic guitar while living in a “hobbit hole” back house in Los Angeles. Skeletal, stripped-back versions of the undulating, amorphous “My Favorite Cloud” and “Power” emerged next. Mentally she was in a dark place. By January 2020, following increasingly severe panic attacks, Medford began a two-month intensive outpatient program, including six-hour days of therapy. It yielded an unprecedented level of self-reflection for Medford, who already plumbs the depths of her emotions for her songwriting. She took a step back from music to completely immerse herself in the program, and once she felt ready to move on at the end of February, the rest of the songs poured out of her.

Recorded with Andrew Sarlo (Big Thief, Empress Of), Andy Seltzer (Maggie Rogers), and Daniel Fox, among others, Medford approached this album as a curator. She handpicked the producers that fit each song, which explains the range and experimentation showcased. Medford then recruited Chris Coady to mix and tie everything together into one cohesive piece.

Dizzying and enthralling, Show Me How You Disappear is the sound of someone coming apart and putting themselves back together — the moment an old mantra, repeated into the mirror time and time again, finally clicks. To look at your reflection, and finally feel seen. 

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