Jadea Kelly was a country and folk musician based out of Ontario… However, she’s recently shifted her sound into something quite a bit more experimental and orchestral… but without losing the Americana aesthetic which is still ultimately at the core of her songwriting. This can be found on her third LP, Clover, which dropped earlier this year. The album is her first in three years and came in the wake of several years on the road and finally taking some time to relax in Toronto. And while it serves as her most sonically dynamic, it was also recorded in the most organic manner, based on 30-40 acoustic demos. In fact, she wrote the majority of the album on her grandfather’s farm in Ontario, while pondering the parallels between farming and musicianship. Additionally, Kelly recently released non-album track “Coal Mine” and has a number of upcoming, in-the-books, dates in Canada but, in a recent chat, she told me that she actually plans to bring her latest sound to the US in the very near future, as well.
Izzy Cihak: You released your third LP, Clover, earlier this year. How do you think it compares to your previous releases, whether in relation to your actual sound or the writing and recording process?
Jadea Kelly: For me, Clover far surpasses my previous releases. Our producer – Stew Crookes – really helped us workshop the songs to perfection. Everything from instrumentation, vocal style, lyrics, and melody. He really helped me discover my voice. Alongside this, we recorded to tape – live off the floor. Instead of looking at a computer screen, we chose a take based on how it sounded, instead of how it looked. Very few over dubs – aside from vocals and a few guitar lines. Everything was organic.
IC: Do you have a particular favorite album track, or a track which most represents where you might be headed in the future, sonically? I’m really into “Hour North.” It reminds me a lot of some of the best singer/songwriters of the ‘90s.
JK: Thank you ! I love “Hour North” as well. Presently, my favorite songs to perform/and best represent my sonic future, would be “Lone Wolf” and “Powell River.” I love the creepy, haunted piano licks throughout – and want to explore that sound more for the next record…which may be named “Thunder”…TBA
IC: What were the album’s biggest influences?
JK: The biggest influences for this record would have to be Iris DeMent and Portishead.
IC: What have been the highlights of promoting Clover throughout 2013?
JK: Actually – just over the past few months we’ve begun promoting the album in Europe. Having just visited Ireland, I am pleased to see several of the songs charting on Dublin radio stations and BBC Glasgow.
IC: And you just released a non-album track, “Coal Mine.” Where did that come from? Was it something that didn’t make it onto Clover, or is it the first of your next collection of songs?
JK: “Coal Mine” was an extra song that didn’t quite make the record [co written by myself, David Baxter and Justin Rutledge]. Our producer felt that the subject matter of the song didn’t quite tie into the message and theme of Clover. And I agree… It’s a fictional tale about coal mining, gold digging, and early Canadian saloons. Clover – on the other hand – was written about a band break up and three years of penniless touring.
IC: What are your plans for 2014? You have some upcoming live dates in Canada.
JK: Well, I’ll be spending December close to home with family and friends. 2014 includes several Canadian dates – and several Canadian festivals/house concerts. We will also be touring the United States in April – and Europe in May. Very excited !
*I’m well aware that I use “Another Side of…” in a plethora of article titles… but it’s a very particular allusion to one of the best works of art of the 20th century… if you know your shit.