Jenny Gillespie’s new album Cure for Dreaming was recorded in fall 2015 in Los Angeles, CA. Featuring musicians such as Paul Bryan (Aimee Mann,) drummer Jay Bellerose (Robert Plant and Allison Krauss’ Raising Sand), guitarist Chris Bruce (Meshell Ndgeocello,), g uitarist Gerry Leonard (David Bowie) and pedal steel player Greg Leisz (Lucinda Williams, Bon I ver), the album blends an earnest folk sensibility with experimental flavorings of progressive jazz and sunny sixties and seventies R and B flavored pop along the likes of Minnie Riperton, Fairport Convention, and Shuggie Otis.The songs span a variety of landscapes, from the Venice boardwalk with its “chakra hucksters” to a woman’s solitary spiritual rebirth on the banks of an East Coast river in “Dhyana by the River.” Themes of motherhood, marriage, spirituality and dying enter into the music but through the medium of playful and conversational language. Characters weave in and out of the songs, such as the brooding loner drawn to the masculine expressions of his ancestry of “Part Potawatomi”, or the cheerful artist facing death in “Last Mystery Train.” The music is loose, warm, and memorable, yet pulls off an undercurrent of occasional instrumental and melodic wildness not often found in modern day pop.
Previous press about Jenny:
-Chamma, Jenny’s 2014 album named as one of the best 25 records of 2014 by Billboard.
“Jenny Gillespie has been previously labeled neo-folk but she only really nods back in the direction of a tradition. Holi is the closest example, with its beguiling mix of pedal steel and harp. She has also sung duets with Sam Amidon, and here plays with musicians from Bonnie Prince Billy’s band and Califone. Like the latter, she integrates programmed beats, electronics and found sounds with strings, as on Dirty Gold Parasol, with its evocations of rural childhood. Most of Chamma is refreshingly original and beautifully sung by a musician not afraid to take liberties with her own songs.” -MOJO (Review of Chamma, 3 stars)
For 2010’s Kindred and 2012’s Belita, Jenny worked in studios with producers (Belita was recorded in NYC with Shahzad Ismaily and featured guitarist Marc Ribot). For Chamma, released as Jenny Gillespie in spring 2014, she felt compelled to return to her own producing skills which she first exhibited on the delicately wrought chamber-folk 2008 album Light Year. Working mostly in her Lake Michigan home north of Chicago, Jenny wrote music in a whole new way—writing as she was recording. This technique allowed Jenny to feel out the essence of the songs, cutting and pasting parts, in a collage manner similar to Jenny’s mixed media paintings, some of which grace the design of Chamma. She invited guitarist Emmett Kelly (Bonnie Prince Billy, The Cairo Gang) and percussionist Joseph Adamik (Iron and Wine, Califone) to add their own unusual instrumental voices to the proceedings in surprising turns such as Vietnamese horn to “Lift the Collar” and marimba to “Child of the Universe.” Arnulf Lindner contributed stunning horn and string arrangements from his studio in London. Chamma comes from a place of lovingly crafting a sonic world and pushing it into existence bit by bit, from the mind of one artist initially but with the incoming geniuses of other musicians at play.
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