Jenn Grant took a trip to Spain several years back and it became a worldly experience that influenced much of her fifth record Compostela.
That’s in addition to the obvious track titles Spanish Moon and Barcelona. The album contains many dreamy elements over the course of its 13 tracks.
For example, Stranger In The Night is exotic in its layering of clarinet and flute over a Wurlitzer, evoking a midnight stroll over a bridge in the moonlight.
Compostela follows familiar territory in that it contains a lot of Jenn’s now signature coo-ing over delicate melodies and instrumentation but comparisons to her last record, The Beautiful Wild, pretty much end there.
Jenn could have recreated the essence of that record by sticking with the easily pleasant folk-pop offering that she’s so good at but it wouldn’t have been as adventurous.
This one isn’t completely new territory though. Both Bring Me A Rose and No One’s Gonna Love You (Quite Like I Do) are immediate in their ability to attract. The former having a sound more standard in folk-pop fare while the latter a pleasant ballad with that gradual build-up making it effective at working its way in deep.
There’s also a whole lot of guest appearances that bring together some of the best of Canadiana. Nearly every track features someone supporting Jenn from Sarah Harmer and Ron Sexsmith to Justin Rutledge and Rose Cousins. The only time the spotlight comes off of Jenn is when Buck 65 provides a short rap verse on Spades that doesn’t really fit. His presence on the rest of the song, however, is strangely enticing – in a way that could very well put it down as my favourite track from the record four months down the road.
Jenn is one of the most easily likeable singers on the Canadian music scene now and this album only goes to further push that as she sings about experiences both happy and painful. Compostela is less about forming an album of songs and more about the relief and liberation that comes from songwriting and recording.
1. Bombshell [featuring Doug Paisley]
2. Trailer Park [featuring Sarah Harmer]
3. Spades [featuring Buck 65]
4. Stranger In The Night [featuring Rachel Sermanni]
5. Bring Me A Rose [featuring Justin Rutledge]
6. Barcelona [featuring Ron Sexsmith and Don Kerr]
7. No One’s Gonna Love You (Quite Like I Do) [featuring Stewart Legere]
8. Canadian Maple Grove
9. Wild Animal
10. Spanish Moon
11. American Man [featuring Kim Harris]
12. Hummingbird [featuring Rose Cousins]