|Essie Jain — All Became Golden (2013)|
Essie Jain — All Became Golden
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Album release: June 28, 2013
Record Label: Essie Jain
01. No Mistake (3:26)
02. My Darling (3:33)
03. Glory (4:29)
04. Stand In The Light (2:53)
05. I (4:03)
06. Raise You (4:04)
07. Years Ago (3:39)
08. Why Worry (3:07)
09. Dark Is The Night (2:30)
10. All Became Golden (2:19)
By Josh Madell (August 8, 2013)
→ It's been just a couple of years since we last heard from Essie Jain, with her Until the Light of Morning album. This charming 2011 collection of lullabies was a bit of an outlier for the British-born, Brooklyn settled singer, but it came from a similar tradition as a pair of lovely records that Jain released in the half-decade prior which also explored British folk melodies in her own dreamy and low-key modern style. With three albums down, some nice reviews, and a handful of committed fans around the world, Jain had reached some sort of a crossroads in her creative life, and this is where the story of All Became Golden picks up. More than just a new record, this album — and the accompanying film, which is streaming in full right here — is a deep look at the meaning of art, of creative passion and personal identity.
→ As Jain tells the story, she had basically stopped playing music at all for a time, beaten down by the struggle of putting so much of her heart and soul (and money and time) into a muse that had given relatively little back over the years; so she quit singing and tried to settle into the rest of her life, until her friend Natalie Johns wrote another chapter into Jain's musical story. A longtime fan as well as an accomplished filmmaker and video producer (whom many of our readers will know from the Live at Other Music video series she created, and as a co-producer of the Other Music SXSW Lawn Parties), Johns wanted to see her friend pursuing her life's dream again, and also wanted to make a feature-length documentary that truly captured creativity in action, exploring the making of an album not as some dusty artifact to be investigated, but in real time, and with the film as an integral part of the process — a "film record."
→ The concept Jain and Johns came up with for the album was almost like a fantasy camp for Jain, taking a set of her songs — mostly new, with a couple of older originals and heartfelt covers — and giving them to the young avant-classical star Nico Muhly to arrange and conduct for a small ensemble. Jain and Muhly met only briefly off-camera to start the process, and while the songs were written and arranged out of sight, the rest of the creative process is captured on film, in a gorgeous studio in midtown Manhattan, where Jain, Muhly and the musicians rehearsed and recorded this lush, idyllic and sweetly emotional album, with Jain's silky voice and Muhly's subtly stunning arrangements for strings, woodwinds, harp, piano, string bass and guitar coming together as if in a dream. The film beautifully shows every track on All Became Golden being recorded live, and intersperses it all with behind-the-scenes moments and thoughtful interviews with Jain and Muhly about the process and the experience — in Jain's case, a lot of back story on both the song meanings and origins, but also the overall picture of her musical and personal history and ambitions seen through the lens of this experience. It's a deeply intimate look into the heart of an artist many of you don't know at all, and perhaps has more universal relevance for just that reason. As narrator Martin Mills (yes, that Martin Mills) says in the intro, "Essie Jain is just like you and I. She dreamed of great love and true happiness."
→ As far as the actual music and the CD we have for sale, fans of Jain's previous work are sure to love All Became Golden, for while it is a fresh start and undoubtedly adds a lot of layers and colors to her often bare sound, it never loses any of the intimacy and texture that have always made Jain's singing stand out. The orchestration is truly lovely, a playful and emotional expansion of these simple chords and melodies that manages to add so much to these songs without ever cluttering the pure and central essence of her voice. Mixed by Bob Clearmountain, the album is warm, natural, but meticulously detailed, and the best tracks, like "Glory" or Jain's take on Dire Strait's "Why Worry," are classics that could easily bring her singing to a much wider audience than she has ever approached before. Whether or not that will happen is a big question the film implies without ever directly asking; Jain had basically given up on writing and performing until she woke up one day and made some of the best music of her life. → Yes, these songs are the stuff of dreams and whatever the origin myth we see playing out here, All Became Golden is a great record that succeeds on the strength of Jain's haunting voice, Muhly's deeply engaging orchestration, and on its own terms. (http://www.othermusic.com/)
Who is this Essie Jain?
→ Born into a musical family, singer-songwriter Essie Jain grew up in London, where her childhood featured classical piano and cello instruction, as well as training in operatic singing. By the time she moved out of her teenage years, Essie had suspended her musical education, she shares, “I had to cut music out my life for bit to hit the re-start button. I think everyone in my family was pretty upset with me at that point, but I always knew music would end up back in my life, and it did."
→ “In my early twenties, I went through a really complex and difficult year personally — I found it really hard to speak to anyone about the things I was dealing with, and I needed a way to express it. That’s when music crept its way back in.”
→ Years later, now residing in New York, Essie Jain made her recorded debut with the glacial delights of We Made This Ourselves, an album which expressed a quiet and powerful minimalism. Originally released in 2007, the album’s delicate and painfully honest chamber-folk, detailed a wrought and failing relationship, and a disintegrating emotional self that put Essie on the musical map. Jain followed up her debut with The Inbetween in 2008, which garnered a ‘Rising Artist’ stamp of approval from the influential British magazine Mojo, among other plaudits. In 2011 Jain returned with a collection of original lullabies, Until the Light of Morning, which was widely lauded receiving praise from Pitchfork, as well as BBC Music, "to a baby it might well point the way to the Land of Nod; to an adult, it'll shut out the world for a brief spell."
→ Her fourth album, out June 28th 2013, is a new chapter for Essie Jain. Titled All Became Golden, the audiovisual project is the creative vision of Jain and filmmaker Natalie Johns (Dig For Fire, La Blogoteque). It was recorded and filmed live over two days at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music in New York City in February 2012. With music arranged by the critically acclaimed composer Nico Muhly, (Two Boys, Bjork, Anthony & The Johnsons) it was performed by musicians from the New York contemporary classical scene including Nadia Sirota, Caleb Burhans and Rob Moose, along with a guest appearance on guitar from Larry Campbell of The Levon Helm band. → The album features 9 tracks penned by Jain and arranged by Muhly and includes a cover of Dire Straits "Why Worry". Of the project Johns shares, "No one has ever made a record like this and in this way, it was a collaboration between Essie, Nico and myself and result is innovative and modern and honest." Muhly on the other hand found the filming to be fascinating saying, "I really liked the idea of doing it live in front of cameras, because you can see there's no trick to making music like this happen".
→ Essie currently lives in New York with her husband, musician and collaborator Patrick Glynn.
For More Information Please Contact Scott Pollack of ILIUM Media: .
The Huffington Post | By Katherine Brooks
Posted: 06/24/2013 8:43 am EDT
→ British crooner Essie Jain and Lower East Side composer Nico Muhly recently collaborated on a new project, combining the ethereal voice of Ms. Jain with the classical contemporary arrangements of Mr. Muhly in a soon-to-be-released "film record."
→ What is a "film record," you ask?
→ It's a documentary of sorts, capturing the rehearsals, performances and recording sessions associated with Jain's upcoming release, "All Became Golden." Directed by Natalie Johns, the work is a visual and lyrical exploration of Jain's re-entrance into the music world after disappearing for the past two years.
→ "I guess I heard 'no' too many times. If I did put my hands to the keys it just seemed this impossible, overwhelming task," she explains in a trailer for the "All Became Golden" film. "I knew if I played music again it would have to be something spectacular."
→ Working with Muhly certainly qualifies as something spectacular. The grown-up prodigy has previously joined forces with Philip Glass, Bjork and Antony and the Johnsons, entrancing critics like the New York Times Zoe Wolff, who remarked that Muhly himself "comes off less as a human being than as an operatic event." His energetic take on classical music seems just the kick Jain, known for her soothing folk tunes, needed.
→ "All Became Golden" has been available for free on Vimeo on Friday, June 28.
→ Check out the album's first single, "Raise You," here, and let us know your thoughts on the song and film record in the comments.
|Essie Jain — All Became Golden (2013)|
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