Three years after her last release, Jadea Kelly has come out with a beautiful album that sees her country/folk roots transform into a mature and poignantly honest collection of songs that will have anyone hooked upon first listen.
Clover comes out of years of hard work by this Whitby, Ont., native, and her passion for music is painfully evident in both her lyricism and vocal approach. Kelly has a sound voice that couldn’t be more controlled or angelic on this album. Fantastic orchestration and an analog recording only heightens this poetic reflection and swiftly escorts you to a place only storybooks could take you.
The album compromises a vast array of tracks, often unguarded and vulnerable with melancholic overtones that would be haunting could you not find comfort in her voice, but Kelly proves she is capable of owning upbeat radio-worthy tracks, such as ‘Lone Wolf’, as well.
Anybody who has a love of folk or adult contemporary music should not wait to purchase this album, as it will most certainly give you the solace and the hope you didn’t realize you were missing. This bright, young star is heading places and it’s certainly a journey I cannot wait to see unfold.
I was lucky enough to be able to sneak a few moments from her busy schedule to ask her about the album and her life right now.
Raz Mataz Magazine (RMM): Congratulations on the new album; how does it feel?
Jadea Kelly (JK): It feels great having Clover out in the world for ears to hear. These songs have been brewing for several years and it comes as a huge relief to have them completed. We are all incredibly proud of the sounds and arrangements created.
RMM: It’s been three years since your last release. What’s happened in that time? Why the break?
JK: The past three years haven’t been much of a break. I spent a majority of that time touring and raising money to make Clover. The record was completed a year before we released it – and I spent that year building a team, attaining distribution, and running my own business / my own label.
RMM: This album appears to be based in another realm, both in style and content, than your last release Eastbound Platform. Is that something that happened naturally as you’ve matured, or a conscious decision to take a different approach?
JK: Clover definitely showcases a noticeable departure from my folk and country influences, but it was definitely a natural progression. I wanted to make something that could stand up against the world market and showcase my growth as an artist.
JK: The symbol of the clover leaf is usually associated with luck or hope – and for me that’s what each of the songs represented. Hope to live a life in music and push past the hardship or financial strain. I want soooo badly to live a life in music, and am slowly but surely carving my own unique path.
RMM: How did you find recording on tape? Did it make a difference not having a computer?
JK: Recording to tape was suggested by our producer, Stew Crookes. It definitely brought the band closer together not having a glowing computer screen to correct our mistakes. Instead we worked together to create takes that felt good in the moment.
RMM: What are you listening to right now? Who has been largely influential in both your singing and your songwriting?
JK: Right now, I’m listening to a young songwriter in Toronto by the name of Zoe Sky Jordan. I first heard her a few months ago at a Discoveries series in Toronto and was blown away by her voice. Aside from Zoe, I have been listening to Hannah Georgas and Bahamas. Artists that have inspired me or influenced me would have to be Patti Griffin, Neko Case and Iris DeMent. All fantastic songwriters and vocalists.
RMM: What’s coming up for you? Where are you heading?
JK: Presently, I am preparing for a trip to Ireland. My first ever non-work-related trip – ever. The trip is funded by the Ontario Arts Council to help me rejuvenate and prepare for the next record, which I hope to record in May 2014. After Ireland, we are headed across Canada – Newfoundland to Victoria – in September and October.