Jadea Kelly recently released her second full-length album Clover. The album is a wonderful collection of tunes that range from very personal sentiments such as “Mary Don’t Go,” a song about her grandmother, to songs inspired by an intense storm, or her desire to move up north of Toronto.
The vocals are the most prominent feature on the album which is so satisfying because her lyrics are lovely and evocative and her voice is smooth as silk. Kelly has a delicate grace about her which is very much reflected in the melodies she sings and her gentle yet precise tone. Certain songs, however, reveal a more powerful side of the chanteuse, most evident in the choruses of tracks like “Powell River” and “I’ll Be.” “I’ll Be” is a noteworthy tune because of how the production of the song captures the contrast between feelings of weakness and power. The vocals start out soft as Kelly sings of vulnerability and hope, but grow stronger in the chorus as she reveals inner strength.
What highlights Kelly’s strong songwriting in addition to her polished vocals and interesting lyrics is her wonderful band of excellent musicians who add tasteful accompaniment to each song. The electric guitar parts in particular are strikingly atmospheric and suit the music and production perfectly.
Lead guitarist Tom Juhas is clearly an accomplished player. More importantly, he has a knack for adding oftentimes subtle fills and parts that don’t overpower Kelly’s vocal melodies or other goings on and yet contribute an incredible amount to the vibe of the songs. The guitar parts are not generally placed in the foreground, which adds to their mystique and reveals the strength of the producer/engineer who kept a flow and feel going for the entirety of the album. It’s just lovely from start to end.
My favourite moments on the album are the vocal melody in the chorus of the title track, “Wild West Rain,” the way “Saintly Stare” is musically staged, and the lyrics and melody in the chorus of “Lone Wolf”:
“All traces of your shadows,
will find their way back home.
I found you through the gallows
When the night falls, when the moon crawls
I’ll find you still.
All traces of your shadows
will find the day on your way back home.”
This is an album to be proud of and a strong next step in a blossoming career.
Check out the studio session for “Lone Wolf”: