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Jadea Kelly showcases new album in Regina

If you see her show, she may make you touch fake pig poop /Image: Indoor Recess INC
If you see her show, she may make you touch fake pig poop /Image: Indoor Recess INC

Canadian artist’s new release entitled Clover

Article: Michael Chmielewski – Editor-in-chief

Regina missed out, big time.

Jadea Kelly and her band should have been playing in front of a bigger crowd at the Artful Dodger on Nov. 1, but they still played an amazing set for the lucky few who did come out. The Toronto based act had been touring Western Canada as a three piece for a couple weeks, and Regina was their second last stop before heading home.

The show had no opener, and Jadea Kelly played two sets for the gathered, which included a Fleetwood Mac cover and songs off of her new album, Clover.

The new album is described as “built with heavy orchestration, darker organ pads, layered harmonies and sonic space, Clover presents a startlingly drastic, yet unified, musical shift for the singer.” After her performance, it’s something I’ll be buying.

One of the songs that really resonated with me from Clover was “Lone Wolf.”

“That song’s mostly about strength, and what not,” Kelly told me before her set. She also explained the meaning of some of the lyrics: “there’s this part ‘you flew so far in the open sea,’ that was from a newspaper article about the pioneers of aviation, and they talked about how freighting it was to go for the first time so far into the open sea in an airplane, and losing sight of the land, and how freighting that would be, not knowing if you were going to just crash.”

Kelly can really relate to that feeling because of things that have happened in her musical journey.

“I just liked that sentiment and that feeling and that’s how I was personally feeling at the same time, leaving my old friends and band mates and business relationships behind to move forward, and I felt really horrible for doing it, but it was necessary for me.

“That’s what ‘Lone Wolf’ was about.”

“You just need to dive headfirst, if you feel as though you are meant to be playing music, and you love music, and you don’t want to live in the 9 to 5 world, then you need to make it work. I quit all my jobs three years ago and I haven’t gone back.” 

During the interview, I egotistically started talking about my band and its recent break-up, and Kelly explained interestingly “that’s what my record is about, is a band break up. It does suck, but you feel shitty in the moment, but I do not regret moving on to play with the people I play with now, because I need to grow and you need to grow as a musician.”

The band backing her up at the show validates this valuable piece of wisdom. Kelsey McNulty filled the room with her piano playing and backed up Kelly on vocals, while Tom Juhas played admirable lead guitar and amazing improved solos, the best being during “Violet” from Clover.

Unlike most albums today, Clover was not recorded on a computer with Pro-Tools, but rather on analog 2-inch tape.

“Instead of just looking at a glowing screen, we were just listening to each other and feeling the song out,” Kelly explained. “We’d choose a song based on how it felt … we all became so close” because before Clover, the band would never be together recording the song. Hear the results of this unique process on tracks like “Powell River,” and of course, “Lone Wolf.”

Kelly, from experience, also offered advice to aspiring musicians facing the classic dilemma of pursuing a life in music.

“You just need to dive headfirst, if you feel as though you are meant to be playing music, and you love music, and you don’t want to live in the 9 to 5 world, then you need to make it work. I quit all my jobs three years ago and I haven’t gone back.”

Kelly is absolutely somebody to look out for on the Canadian music scene, with her beautiful voice, sincere and outstanding lyrics, captivating song writing, and work ethic.

About Michael Chmielewski

I am a 4th political science student who loves reading, writing, studying languages, reporting, playing music (metal, if you got it), conversation, amongst many other eclectic interests. Proud to be in my second year as Editor-in-Chief of the Carillon, and even more proud of the amazing staff that I work with. Festina Lente.