The Wailin’ Jennys are pleased to announce the release of Bright Morning Stars, the band’s highly anticipated new studio album. One of today’s most popular folk-roots bands, the trio has made a name for itself releasing three award-winning albums, two of which spent over a year on the Billboard Charts. Now The Wailin’ Jennys join the ranks of Lucinda Williams and Emmylou Harris, recording their new studio album Bright Morning Stars with Grammy-nominated producer Mark Howard. Co-produced by frequent Jennys collaborator and Juno Award-nominated David Travers-Smith, the album combines fresh and innovative sounds with the band’s signature harmonies--a perfect mix of Americana, pop and traditional folk that is certain to be an instant classic.
Bright Morning Stars is a sparkling collection of heart-filled songs that speak to the world around us and the heavens above. The album takes its name from a traditional song that The Jennys perform a capella--a beautiful Appalachian hymn that laments the passing of loved ones. Like this ethereal title track, many of the songs are about searching for what has been lost, whether it’s a once-whole heart, a lover gone or family that is far away. From the soulful pop of “Swing Low Sail High” to the gut-busting gospel of “Storm Comin’” to the sultry jazz of “Cherry Blossom Love,” the album sparkles with a light and energy that is “guaranteed to soothe your soul with its unique blend of earthy passion and heartfelt compassion” (Creem). Even amidst songs about loss, there is a quiet elation underpinning the album that is present in such tracks as “Bird Song” (a fan favorite with lyrics co-written by Heather Masse and Nicky Mehta), giving hope and courage to weary souls and broken hearts.
All three band members--Ruth Moody, Nicky Mehta and Heather Masse--each contribute to the twelve original songs, singing and playing a variety of instruments (acoustic guitar, accordion, banjo, ukulele) to create a shimmering tapestry of rich vocals and instrumentals. Joining The Jennys are Canada’s finest session players, including Bill Dillon (Joni Mitchell, Peter Gabriel), Kevin Breit (Norah Jones), Colin Cripps (Kathleen Edwards), Richard Moody (The Bills) and frequent Jennys sideman Jeremy Penner on fiddle. Recorded in a cottage near Haliburton, Ontario, Bright Morning Stars has a warm, intimate quality, as if The Jennys were singing their celestial songs just for you. Sure to be a favorite on folk, Americana and AAA radio, the album confirms that The Wailin’ Jennys are stars of the first order.
The Wailin’ Jennys take an egalitarian approach to the album. Each contributes four original songs on which she sings lead with the other two supplying their sublime harmonies and they also offer a stunning version of the traditional hymn-like “Bright Morning Stars,” sung in glorious three part harmony.
Highlights among Nicky’s songs include the opening track, “Swing Low Sail High,” at once both a confession to love’s shortcoming and a reaffirmation of love’s endurance, and “What Has Been Done,” a mysterious ballad, seemingly about a murder, or, perhaps, a suicide, that shows the influence of traditional Appalachian folksongs.
Ruth’s highlights include “Storm Comin’,” a metaphorical piece about being prepared for what life and love have to offer, and “Asleep At Last,” a quiet, beautiful love song.
Heather’s highlights include “Mona Louise,” partly a lullaby and partly a celebration of a new life, and “Cherry Blossom Love,” a haunting song that seems almost equally derived from both the folksong and jazz ballad traditions.
As I noted in the introduction, these songs are – mostly – quiet and subtle and reveal more each time they’re heard.