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Some of the greatest art is drawn from darkness. So too was Love & Lust – a compelling and honest release from Jadea Kelly this 2016. However dark the muse, there is a sonic beauty and vulnerability shining throughout.
Perhaps a familiar story to some, Love & Lust is an album of heartbreak but also an incredibly open and honest catalogue of infidelity, desire, betrayal, forgiveness and human frailty. Built with lilting melodies, symphonic violin, pop synth pads and majestic guitar tones Jadea guides the listener through the darkness of infidelity and her prolific journey towards light and wisdom. Despite the struggle of its creation Love & Lust is quite possibly the most honest, intense and emotional records of 2016 and a huge progression for Jadea Kelly and her songwriting.
“I wanna drown it. Way I feel. If I do does it make the heat less real Sit up on me / Pull my waist. Watch the blood rush through my face”
The opening lines of Love & Lust – the third studio album for Canadian songwriter Jadea Kelly – frame these emotions candidly. It speaks of the humanity in feeling ashamed of your desire and your lust. At the same time this catalogue of songs touches on the human fear of vulnerability and our own human frailty.
Perhaps unbeknownst to the writer upon its creation, Love & Lust addresses our reliance on human connection and our unending – social media driven – access to it. Rather than a critique, Love & Lust examines the confines of modern love as well as its shifting definition.
Love & Lust was recorded in Toronto at Noble St Studios and the Woodshed Studio throughout 2015. The album was co produced by Stew Crookes, Tom Juhas and Jadea Kelly live off the floor and directly to tape. Stew Crookes is known prominently for producing such Canadian writers as Hawksley Workman, Doug Paisley, One Hundred Dollars and Jadea’s 2013 album ‘Clover’. Tom Juhas works as an established international guitarist and producer, accompanying the likes of Royal Wood, Banners, Emma Lee, and Ryan O’Reilly. The songs are orchestrated by some of Canada’s highly esteemed musicians. This includes long time collaborators Jason Sniderman [NQ Arbuckle] Nigel Hebblewhite [Run with the Kittens] Gary Craig [Blackie and the Rodeo Kings] Sly Juhas [C&C Surf Factory] Tom Juhas [Ride the Tiger, Royal Wood] Jesse Zubot [Tanya Tagaq] and Brian Kobayakawa [Serena Ryder].
Narrowed down from 65 demo recordings, the eleven songs on Love & Lust likely wouldn’t have seen the light of day without help from the co-producers and co-writers involved. This includes Peter Katz, Zoe Sky Jordan, Robyn Dell’Unto, Jason Sniderman, Ryan O’Reilly, Stew Crookes, Tom Juhas and Jeremy Fisher.
Jadea Kelly – raised in Whitby, ON – spends much of her time living between Toronto ON and Nashville TN. She is known most prominently for her vocal work with JUNO award winning Canadian folk artist Catherine MacLellan as well as JUNO award winning Canadian metal band Protest the Hero. In 2014 Jadea was nominated for ‘Contemporary Singer of the Year’ by the Canadian Folk Music Awards as well as ‘Emerging Songwriter of the Year’ in 2010.
She has toured across Canada countless times performing at a number of Canadian festivals – this includes the Calgary Folk Festival, Edmonton’s Interstellar Rodeo, Riverfest with Blue Rodeo, Peterborough Folk Festival, Shelter Valley, Stuart MacLean’s Vinyl Cafe, Stewart Park Folk Festival and Wild Mountain Music Festival.
Her 2013 album ‘Clover’ was named CBC’s Top 10 anticipated albums of 2013 and she has toured and opened for the likes of Justin Rutledge and even Judy Collins. She has toured throughout the United States supporting Canadian duo Whitehorse as well as across Canada with Royal Wood & Catherine MacLellan. Alongside this, she has showcased officially at SXSW and Americana Music Festival and toured extensively throughout Europe.
2016 will prove to be an exciting year for Jadea Kelly and Love & Lust. Each song is beautifully crafted and thoughtfully executed. ‘Beauty’ in particular is perhaps the most delicate and forgiving of songs on this album and co-written with Canadian artist Peter Katz. Similarly, ‘Mariah’ acts as the heart beat and ‘hornets’ nest’ of Love & Lust, acting as a painfully honest open letter to ‘the mistress’.
‘I’ve spent much of this past year trying to find beauty and light again. What I’ve realized – and something I’ll never forget – is that there is a time in your life when you must surrender to who you are, who you thought you were supposed to be & how you thought the world was supposed to be. Embodying beauty and vulnerability despite the adversity of life is our truest test’ – Jadea Kelly