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Studio Milwaukee Session: IAN SWEET

Jen Ellis

Artist names can be misleading. Ben Folds Five had three members. The Doobie Brothers are not siblings. And, from what I hear, Taylor Swift’s 40-yard dash time is egregiously slow.

That isn’t the case for IAN SWEET, the project fronted by Jilian Medford — at least not entirely. When it comes to vocal quality, Medford’s delivery is pecan pie, Fun Dip and Hostess cupcakes. It’s approachable and rich and gets that dopamine system kicking. It’s also an easy-to-swallow method for lyrical content that often wanders toward the sour side of the spectrum.

Medford and her cohorts brought those flavors to IAN SWEET’s Studio Milwaukee Session, which pulled mostly from her most recent album, SUCKER. The trio on stage blasted out a raucous and rousing noise while Medford sang through the stages of relationship hell: the excitement/terror of a new one, the anxiety of an unhealthy one and the denial/depression of an ended one.

In the context of the session, though, it all sounded good to us.

Helping matters was Medford’s stage presence, which the word “delightful” was invented for. She found an instant comfort level with the crowd, at one point laughingly putting a halt to the intro for “Smoking Again” while explaining she momentarily forgot the opening chords. This was just after she talked about how shooting the song’s video helped her kick the habit and lamented the very late realization that prop cigarettes are, in fact, a thing.

You can listen to that disarming interview and the rest of IAN SWEET’s Studio Milwaukee Session using the player at the top of the page. Then head over to our membership page to find out how to score a seat at all of our upcoming sessions.

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Set list

  1. “Your Spit”
  2. “Emergency Contact”
  3. “Smoking Again”
  4. “Sword” (non-broadcast performance)