There’s something to be said about those who work behind the scenes in the music industry. The ones who choose to stay in the shadows or dark smokey control rooms. Pulling switches, turning knobs, and refurbishing demos and ideas. I’m talking about producers and engineers. From George Martin to Nick Raskulinecz and Jack Antonoff, producers devoted their careers to realizing the artist’s dream. But what about those who step away from the board and up to the mic? Such is the case with Joe Dilillo and his debut single “Loser Girl”.
For decades Dilillo has been producing, engineering, constructing, and deconstructing music for probably hundreds of artists. In a Chicago studio that once housed artists like Cheap Trick and The Smoking Popes, Dilillo’s knack for slick production made him one of the scene’s best-kept secrets. It was in that studio where I met Joe all the way back in 2005 when my own band tracked an EP. What started as a project feeling like business as usual, soon became a lifelong friendship, recording sessions, and many albums I’ll go to the grave proud knowing I worked on.
At the core of the relationship was Joe’s passion for music.
Be it explaining how compression works, how to properly use overdrive on a bass guitar, or discussing the indescribable ingredients of the perfect pop song, Dilillo knows every corner of the room. With so much knowledge, experience, and passion, I always hoped he would start releasing his own music commercially. The shift in the music industry both professionally and conceptually enabled Dilillo to take a little time away from the art of others and finally spend more time on his own. The result is “Loser Girl”. With the help of The Lickerish Quartet, country music legend Cactus Moser, and fellow friend/producer, Joshua Staar,
For the first time in 25 years, the transition from producer to artist is complete in a single track.
Blending the candy-coated vocals of the Wonderminds with lavish Beatles-esque pop symmetry, “Loser Girl” wouldn’t sound out of place on a 70s power pop compilation. But Dilillo and Staar’s production elevated those elements in a way that sound fresh and relevant as they do nostalgic and comforting. But that’s the thing with this particular song, it’s not aiming to be a niche or a gimmick; it’s simply the result of a genuine love of music. Every vocal line, note, and verse, is coming from an honest place. But then again, how could it not be? Any successful producer can tell you: in order to create art, one has to appreciate artistry.
I’m usually reluctant to cover releases from friends as there’s probably some superficial conflict of interest. But I’ve been asking Joe to record and release his music for years. Not because he’s a personal friend, but because his music I’ve heard over the years is just really good. “Loser Girl” is the culmination of that. While I’d love to get back in the studio with him one day, I hope it’s for an advance listen to what his next project is about. “Loser Girl” is a melancholy bubblegum banger and this is just the tip of the iceberg!
For more information on Joe Dilillo and to purchase “Loser Girl”, please visit Linktree