Tag Archives: cmw

Pieces EP

Nostalgia can be a beautiful thing. The warmth generated in one’s heart by memories of bygone and idealized times feels like nothing else in the spectrum of emotion.
As a songwriter I sometimes feel my work is about building little altars for moments. Every note, every silence, every beat, is an item placed just so, to pay homage to a memory, a dream, a feeling or an idea.
Time passes and then – assuming the works are good enough –  the moment is archived and that wistful feeling swells in my heart. So many of these poetic, structures of reverence get lost for a time.
They sit, unknown in the muse’s attic collecting dust and humming quietly to themselves until life decides either by fate or circumstance to make them relevant again.
I always have a desire for songs that bare a kinship to one another to live in the same archive, spinning out their days into old age, and so certain tunes get set aside and nearly forgotten. It’s hard to sometimes imagine what “present” means when I realize I am on stage playing a song I wrote when I was 23 years old. Yet, every time I find music can truly be transportive. A 6th sense as integral to our memories as the olfactory world.
Such is the story with the 5 tunes I just recorded for the Pieces EP.
5 songs all penned pre Orchard, between 2006 and 2008.
A time when I lived in the basement suites of tree lined streets in East Vancouver.
A time when I broke my own heart with assumptions and insecurities, and then felt it heal and swell with curiosity.
I suppose my return to the single life, through either fate or circumstance 😉 has made these songs live again.
They stand together, reminding me that my heart still breaks and I still heal and feel full of wonder and love for this life.
You might remember that I went into the studio late December with the incomparable Jesse Gander. In two days, with the help of two special guests (Khari McLelland and Tim Tweedale) we recorded 5 songs. We left the studio and headed into the fray of the festive season with one element untouched. I wanted the song “It Don’t Matter” to be a duet.

I imagined a voice that was both sweet and rusty. A voice full of grit and honey. I never imagined that that voice would find it’s way onto the song via satellite signals and networks and modern miracles of technology.
Just yesterday my dear friend and Buffaloswans front man Scott Bell performed his half of our long distance duet somewhere in a studio in Oklahoma, USA. Today I heard the first mixes of what I can only say made me swoon as I felt the thrill of making new memories while archiving old ones.

The Pieces EP will be my first release in over a year. Orchard came out in March 2011 (can you believe it?) and the making of it was an incredibly detailed and lengthy process (we recorded it in 2009). This time I moved quickly and within the notion of capturing moments in the studio. Jesse Gander once again proved to have the most enthusiastic love of music and tireless, talented ears. Bringing Pieces together feels like a tying up of loose ends for the songwriter in me. The next year or two is already mapped out in my head with the hope to head back into the studio twice more to record some songs that are just now taking their first breaths and some others that have been begging for some special and extravagant attention for years while they waited for new siblings to be born.

In the mean time and the near future I’ll be gigging around Vancouver (house concert and release party TBA soon) before heading off to Toronto in March to perform at CMW and do a couple shows in the surrounding area.
I also have big dreams of finding myself on a jet plane en route to Europe in the fall. Drop me a line if you have something to say about that. 😉

2013 is the year of the dream and I’m dreaming vast.

xo
jess

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Toronto, pronto!

Eaves dropping on the conversations of my fellow air travelers at the gate. The power is out and each of their faces is in silhouette. There are grumbles between them over the lack of coffee available at the Starbucks kiosk due to the power outage. A rare few of them huffing and puffing at the staff in green aprons. Caffeine is all powerful.

I will touch down in Tdot in time for dinner! I hear it’s warm and sunny there and I do take pleasure leaving Vancouver, where they’re calling for snow knowing I’ll have few days of massive musicality and vitamin D.
That being said I will miss my sweet East Vanistan and every crow and cherry blossom budding there. I’ll see if I can bring home some heat in my pockets.

Tomorrow I’ll be singing at The Toronto Institute For The Enjoyment Of Music at 3pm and The Free Times Cafe at 9pm.

Hope to see you there!

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Of moths and moons…

Over the last month Amanda Bullick of Brutally Beautiful and I have been dreaming up an image that shines new light on my song “Open Letter To My Heart”.  In the post below you will get a look behind the scenes of the shoot and a sneak peek at the postcard I will have at Canadian Music Week with me next month.

 

After many hours of  masking tape, papiermache (the brunt of which Amanda gracefully took on as the paste was making my already flaring ezcema quite itchy) , low temperature ovens, paint and petty garden robbery we completed the moths.


We gathered a team of talented people for the usual photo shoot tasks and headed to the Brutally Beautiful headquarters

With one red ladder, a make up artist and a hair stylist added to our team we were unstoppable!


Chris, Jessie and Amanda

With the back drop hung we set to work on the lighting, the moths and the light bulbs!

 

 

We moved the ladder many times….Amanda is quite strong. Tiny but tough!

 

 


Hair by my talented Mama!

Jessie Broster getting set to paint my face.

What a difference hair and make-up make… 😉

 

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