Blending the best of folk, electronica, baroque, and R&B, Jenny Gillespie takes an unintuitive approach to crafting her earthly tunes. She wields the tools of pop-songwriting, but applies them with a jazz-minded touch. Her latest full-length, Cure for Dreaming, is out January 29th on Narooma Records, a label she founded to promote “offbeat female artists who have established themselves as musical vanguards over time.” In celebration of her new album, Gillespie and her band have planned a record release show at the Starline Social Club on January 9th.
While her previous LP, 2014’s Chamma, was recorded in her hometown of Chicago, the now San Francisco resident chose to craft this new one in Los Angeles the past fall. Chamma was an important step in Gillespie’s career, landing her a coveted spot on Billboard Magazine’s top 25 albums of 2014, and Cure for Dreaming does not relinquish any of that goodwill. Paul Bryan lends his production and engineering talents to the project, as well as helped arrange the record, whilst musicians Jay Bellerose, Greg Leisz, Chris Bruce, and Gerry Leonard all contributed to the release. Together Gillespie and her crew have created a dynamic 8-song effort that takes no simple steps, but is immensely rewarded for doing so.
Single “No Stone” provides a compelling case for why Jenny Gillespie is a rare talent. In less than 3-minutes, funky arpeggios, rising synth swells, and stereo-jumping keys build under Gillespie’s Jonie Mitchell-resembling vocals, all ending with the universal declaration: “Tomorrow will be better I guess/That’s the story I tell myself.” The rest of the album holds similar lyrical pull, all bathed in the band’s measured arrangements. With Cure for Dreaming, Jenny Gillespie is set to start the 2016 musical year off to a fine start.
Jenny Gillespie, Angela James
Starlight Social Club
January 9th, 2016