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Let 'em In

by Jennifer Irving

Jennifer Irving’s ambient folk songs harness traditional and modern elements to create emotionally immersive musical atmospheres.

Available on:

- Apple Music
- Spotify
- iTunes

Jennifer irving

 

On her first EP, ‘Let ’Em In,’ Saint John singer-songwriter Jennifer Irving serves up a moody quartet of ambient folk songs she wrote and recorded over several years in three different studios and across two provinces. While each track carries the imprint of a different mood, mindset and producer, they’re unified by emotionally honest lyrics backed by moving musical atmospheres.

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This debut collection is by an artist at play in the spectrum of traditional and modern styles. Producer Daniel Ledwell lends his trademark lush and layered instrumentation with a touch of spaghetti-western flair to ‘Well Enough’ and 'Weight,' while Charles Austin adds a steady tempo and nostalgia to ‘Someday.’ On the fourth and final track, Jennifer dabbles in the electronic arts, with Snappy Homefry’s synths and brushy drum beats adding lots of airy mood on ‘Lines.’

 

Considering Jennifer’s musical upbringing, it’s not surprising her tastes range. She was raised in a big, boisterous Maritime family that loves to make music together in times of celebration and of sorrow. Along with the Celtic influences of her father’s Cape Breton heritage is the Quebecois flavour of her mother’s, including an accordion-playing grandmother. While some relatives loved the limelight at these family jams, Jennifer was shy, a listener in a crowd of performers. Songwriting was a natural way for a quiet, creative girl to work through her feelings. For her, music started as poetry on the page and became a songwriting habit that’s persisted, decades later.

 

Jennifer started performing in her 20s, fronting the band Drift, playing music on the festival circuit in Atlantic Canada. In recent years, family life and a fine-art photography career have put performing on hold, but Jennifer has never stopped writing songs. As ever, it’s a way of dealing with feelings, of making concrete the emotional journey that has grown to include marriage and motherhood to two young sons. Music has always been a way to experience and amplify her feelings, and to seek solace from them. ‘Let Em In’ is a way to invite listeners into that experience, to share what has previously been private.

 

Through her personal songs, Jennifer taps into the universal experiences of love and loss, their sweetness and sadness, the poignancy in pain.

 

 

 
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Credits

Weight & Well Enough
Produced, Engineered and Mixed by Daniel Ledwell
Michael Belyea / Drums
Daniel Ledwell / Bass, baritone guitar, electric guitar, lap steel, piano, vocals, rodes, flugelhorn, shakers, tambourine, trombone, clappers, castanets
Jennifer Irving / Vocals, acoustic guitar
Mastered by J. Lapointe at Archive Mastering

Someday
Produced, Engineered and Mixed by Charles Austin
Jennifer Irving / Vocals, acoustic guitar
Jordan Murphy / Drums
Scott Nick / Piano, electric guitar

Lines
Produced, Engineered and Mixed by Snappy Homefry
Jennifer Irving / Vocals, acoustic guitar
Snappy Homefry / Piano, synthesizer, drums, bass

Photography by Kelly Lawson
Original paintings by Shaylene Reynolds

Released June 25, 2018

All rights reserved

 

 

 

“Formerly of the Nova Scotia group Drift a few years back, Jennifer Irving did drift away for a bit, into a photography career, kids, a move to Saint John and other adulting. Music was just on the back burner though, and now she returns with a debut solo EP, four cuts from three different sessions. It's an interesting variety from the singer-songwriter, thoughtful lyrics across the board but some dramatic style shifts.

The first two cuts, Weight and Well Enough, were made with Halifax producer Daniel Ledwell, and feature his well-known layers and textures. Irving adds to that a level of mystery, and intriguingly, a Spaghetti Western flavour. The third cut, Lines, was done with Charles Austin, another Halifax mainstay. While still featuring a rich sound, that track highlights the acoustic guitar sound of Irving's music, along with a bit of atmosphere. The final cut, Someday, is less spacious, Irving's vocals echoed and less prominent, brushed percussion joining the acoustic guitar along with a few bells and a haunted vibe. Toronto producer Snappy Homefry is the collaborator on this bit of electronic folk.

Irving proves a bit of a chameleon on the EP, adapting her voice to each atmosphere. On the mystery movie cuts at the start, she's moody and distant, while the acoustic tracks feel more warm and transparent. In each song though, her singing is compelling, and I like that she has these different sides.”

THe East Magazine

“Emerging singer-songwriter Jennifer Irving has released her debut EP Let ‘Em In. With a multitude of years, themes and producers within the album, the Saint John artist combines her folksy, emotionally-intelligent style with small differences here and there to spice up the selection.

Listeners will notice right away how pristine the sound is; every instrument and lyric is like a warm hug for your eardrum, bouncing around in all of its polished glory. In ‘Weight,’ the clear example of this are the keys and sporadic usage of chord plucks while, interestingly enough, the tempo does most of the heavy lifting in conveying a country vibe.

‘Well Enough’ introduces a bit of a sombre melody with Irving’s trademark soft, airy vocals. Listeners may notice keys, strings and wind instruments in a track that could be described as deep folk. A beautifully-created piano melody closes out the track and is also worth noting.

‘Lines’ is the sole synth representative in the EP, as Irving utilizes a synth pad right from the beginning through to the end, and not once does the track cede its atmospheric undertone.

Finally, ‘Someday’ stands out with its slightly more groove-oriented, albeit calming, feel. Listeners will also notice in bits with Irving’s non-verbals vocals just how much emotion her voice can carry even without messages.

‘Through my songs, I’m letting people into my thoughts and experiences,’said Irving. ‘There is definitely a sense of vulnerability in songwriting but I just let go of that fear and here I am letting listeners in and putting myself out there.’

‘I suppose I was urged by the thought of what my future boys would think of their mother when she was young, and wondering if she pursued her dreams or overcame her fears.’

With a mission to bring feelings of love, fear and emotional honesty, Jennifer Irving and her wondrous voice certainly have the qualifications to make that mission a success.”