Jenn Grant: The Beautiful Wild
Six Shooter Records
Third time out and Jenn Grant gets it right wth the most fully realized of her albums so far. Debut album, Orchestra for the Moon gave it all away in the title, all gossamer romance and like that. ‘Twas to be expected from a singer.songwriter rooted in the Halifax folk scene.
For this one, It’s like Jenn is looking outward more, taking an interest in other people. Or at least in narratives with a wider resonance. To say the stance has been honestly earned is beside the point. That it’s all come to a forceful and none the less seductive fruition, needs to be said here.
The approach is more laid back, introspective and with moments of understated humour. Grant fleshes out the sound here and there with a dash of harp and a full-on boy's choir on “I Want You Back” and “Michael.” But are you ready for a sweet sitar opening to the roughed-up “Gone Baby Gone”? And how ‘bout some East Coast jazzy noodlings on “White Dove?”
Like the bird in that song, Grant’s stretching her wings and she’s already hitting the kind of heights that’ll bring her a fresh audience. Especially if they’re of a certain age and come in on “Green Grows the Lilac,” at the point where she does an amazing reworking via piano and voice of Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger.” Yep, a total WTF moment whose significance to the album as a whole is buried deep, but one which gives Grant a way better shot at airplay.
Members of the East Coast music mafia who showed up to help out include: Old Man Luedecke, Rose Cousins, Kinley Dowling (Hey Rosetta!, the Express), David Christensen (the Heavy Blinkers) and the Halifax Boys Honour Choir. Says here the new record is about finding the courage to lose oneself in the wilderness, in all of its savage and sublime experiences. Maybe, but she had me the first time she went top end, as Jenn Grant continues to evolve as one of our fair land’s major up and coming vocalists.