Thursday, May 16, 2013

Jadea Kelly: "Clover" (album review)

May 21st will see the release of Clover, the sophomore album from Toronto singer Jadea Kelly.  With a versatile, inviting voice and meticulous songwriting, she's poised to make her mark.

The first thing that strikes you about Clover is Kelly's vocals.  Everything revolves around her beautiful vocals, which often have an ominous or threatening undercurrent to them.

It starts with "Wild West Rain".  The song is catchy, despite not having a traditional hook.  Kelly's delivery sucks you in as she comes across as both warm and standoffish.  She's like a less detached version of Hope Sandoval.

On tracks like the desolate "Lone Wolf", with it's deft use of keyboard, and "You Had Me", there's actually an unrealized twang to the songs which brings to mind the sense of hopelessness of Cowboy Junkies.

Kelly is not without a pop sensibility.  That seeps in on "Saintly Stare", the record's most fully-fleshed out track as well as the sweet "Hour North".

The album's standout track, however, is also its most ethereal.  "Powell River" is a dreamy number.  You can almost envision yourself taking a twirl in the moonlight as it plays in the background.

Canada has turned out a number of strong female vocalists in recent years.  If there's any fairness in the world, Jadea Kelly will soon be added to the list.

Jadea Kelly plays an album release show at the Great Hall in Toronto on May 22nd.

Best tracks: "Powell River", "Hour North"

Track listing for Clover:
  • Wild West Rain
  • Powell River
  • Lone Wolf
  • Mary Don't Go
  • You Had Me
  • Saintly Stare
  • Hour North
  • Clover
  • I'll Be
  • Count On
  • Violet

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