JADEA KELLY (DUO FEAT. TOM JUHAS) + DEL BARBER
Jadea Kelly:" The Clover still grows, round the meadow though it snows" - Clover
The triumphs upon choosing a life in music are few and far between. And as many know, finding your own unique and compelling voice is almost as rare as finding a four leaf clover.
Thankfully, though through heart ache and iron fists, one of the 'shining jewels in the crown of Canadian songwriters' [CBC], has discovered her voice and an intriguing marriage of old and new. Built with heavy orchestration, darker organ pads, layered harmonies and sonic space - Clover presents a startlingly drastic, yet unified, musical shift for Jadea Kelly in 2013 - a unique union of Iris De Ment's vocal ache with heavy Portishead ambience and percussion.
In 2010, Jadea released Eastbound Platform, an independent release produced by David Baxter. Jadea was later nominated for new emerging artist by the Canadian Folk Music Awards which led to appearances on Stuart McLean's Vinyl Café, Canadian festival performances, European house concert tours and even a CBC recorded performance at the Stewart Park Folk Festival in 2010. Jadea is known most prominently for her vocal work and recordings with Canadian folk artist Catherine MacLellan [Silhouette 2010] and even Canadian metal band Protest the Hero [Kezia 2005 / Scurillous 2011].
Clover was recorded at the Woodshed Studio in Toronto and produced by Stew Crookes, known for his work with Hawksley Workman, Doug Paisley and One Hundred Dollars - which was recorded on analog 2 inch tape.
"For a majority of the band - including myself - this was the first time in our recording history that we had tracked without the trance of a glowing computer screen" says Jadea. "Instead of judging a song based on how it appears and physically looks on screen, we closed our eyes and chose a take on how it felt".
It has been three years since Jadea has released a recording. This is partially due to exhaustion, but also because of heavy touring. In 2012 Jadea finally left the road due to exhaustion, moved into the rented room of a Toronto home and grew her first ever garden. Solace, peace and reflection came while Jadea rested and towed the soil - as did 30-40 acoustic demo recordings. These demos were completely stripped down and quickly circulated throughout the musical community.
Crookes' took note of the emotive, angelic vulnerability of these demos and was able to produce and lure the core strength and determination we now hear in Jadea's voice. With the help of such Toronto players as Jason Sniderman [Blue Peter], Tom Juhas [Ride the Tiger / Friendly Rich], Nigel Hebblewhite [Run with the Kittens] and Gary Craig [Blackie and the Rodeo Kings], Crookes' was able to weave a unique assortment of ambient guitars, haunting organ pads, synth bass and delayed string arrangements - all to support the rich texture of Jadea's voice.
Inspired and named after her grand fathers farm in rural Ontario, Clover touches on the interconnected relationship between farming and working as a musician - and her hope to have a life a music. Although raised in suburban Whitby ON, the Kelly family have worked and sacrificed on this land for three generations - and it is on this farm that Jadea composed a majority of Clover.
" Much like farming, working as a touring musician offers little financial reward - nor does it provide a guaranteed retirement. Despite this, I am fully dedicated. It is my passion and it is stiched into the very fabric of my being. Whether performing in a large hall or sewing a field with seeds, both professions are a calling and a require love of land and love of art".
The album artwork provides an additional visual understanding of Jadea and of Clover. The front and back album panels depict a painted wolf and crow, both decorated with green clover. Both animals, long villainized throughout history, are present within the lyrics on such tracks as "Lone Wolf" and " I'll Be".
'Lone wolf don't hunt like he used to. Sinks his teeth with a jaw loose'
'Don't preach what you don't know, I'll take flight with a black crow'
These creatures are showcased to highlight their positive attributes, and in turn the positive attributes of Jadea. Rather than a symbol of fear or evil, the wolf has long been regarded within aboriginal folklore as a teacher and / or pathfinder. And the crow, characterized as a symbol of death or omen, was once known for it's intelligence, luck and knowledge. All of the images are representations and symbols of the sorrows, obstacles, hope and growth in Jadea's personal life this past year.
Clover will be released through Divergent Recordings - a new alternative imprint within the True North Records family - and Darth Jadea Music - available worldwide on May 21st 2013.
"I'm extremely proud of this record and pleased to be surrounded by so much positivity and creativity. I can't wait to share it with everyone".
Del Barber: Del Barber grew up in the Canadian Prairies, and the landscape is as much a part of him as the people he has met along the way. From the fertile Red River Valley to the pastures of the west, straight into the factory floors and slaughter houses of the city, Barber's fourth album, Prairieography, is born out of a love for his home, its people and their stories.
Recorded at Empire Recording in Winnipeg, the album is blanketed in warmth, subtle textures and true-to-life imperfections; the rhythm section was captured live to analogue tape and uses audio sounds from combines and augers.
In an effort to take his creative process to new heights, Barber undertook a painstaking approach to achieve an organic sound. The reverb was recorded inside a 150-foot grain silo. "We had to disassemble the studio, scale the walls of the silo, hang microphones and a speaker," Barber describes. "We amplified the instrument, like the pedal steel, into the silo and recorded again, then the track would have to be synched up with the song."
Prairieography was produced by Barber and his trusted steel player Bill Western. Using the digital and analogue recording techniques, Barber manages to channel the classic records of past heroes while still standing firmly on his own.
Barber sings from the heart about his roots, telling tales from the road, and offering incredibly personal and sincere observations of the world around him. There is an unexpected blend of old-time country and Cajun boogie on "Living With A Long Way to Go", however Barber maintains his characteristic storytelling style with "Farewell, God Bless You, Goodbye," a story about a young man trying to escape the hum of the city. "Walking In A Straight Line," written in the present tense, chronicles a trip he took to the Yukon from Winnipeg via the Rockies. On "All That it Takes," Barber enthuses, "Sometimes three chords and a light heart are enough to make a good song. We really wanted to incorporate a few songs, like this one, on the album that would lean on heavy grooves and simple soul-driven rhythm sections."
Barber has emerged as one of the next wave in this country's proud tradition of songwriting talent. The follow-up to his award-winning albums Love Songs for the Last Twenty and Headwaters, Prairieography is the earnest travelogue of a wandering troubadour, and the realization that creativity is rarely a bolt of lightning.
Good songs are the result of hard work, calloused fingers and learned lessons from a life well lived.
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