Artista da Semana - Jill Barber
If you believe they don’t write songs like they used to, here is new hope for old romantics. On her new album Chances, Canadian chanteuse Jill Barber picks up the torch where the golden age of music left off. Taking a giant step forward from the typical confines of the singer-songwriter , Jill delivers an album of ten original, fully orchestrated songs that strongly evoke – and could themselves become - classics. From the moment you hear her sultry voice on the opening title track, you are transported to another time and place. “The best songs ever written are the ones that somehow transcend time and fashion, “says Jill. ”They may be old, but they haven’t aged.
It is that timeless quality that I aspire to in my own songwriting. A seasoned performer with a growing fan base across North America and the UK, Jill gained acclaim as a 2008 double-Juno nominee and multiple East Coast Music Award winner for previous releases For All Time (2006) and Oh Heart (2004). In February 2008, Jill was given the extraordinary chance to perform in concert with Symphony Nova Scotia as part of its Pops Series. The results evoked the rich sounds of Patsy Cline, Edith Piaf and Etta James. It was clear that Jill, previously a self-proclaimed “smoky folkie”, had reached a new level. To recreate the magic of a live orchestra, Jill enlisted producer and long-time collaborator Les Cooper.
His gorgeous arrangements for a skilled backing band with a 10-piece string section were recorded live at The Glenn Gould Studio. Exquisite guest vocals by the Good Lovelies and The Sojourners and a special appearance by Ron Sexsmith contribute to a contemporary album of songs that capture the lush sounds of a bygone era. “Now I can finally claim to be making ‘popular music’. So what if it’s only what was popular 50 or 60 years ago,” says Jill, who composed many of the songs during an intensive three-week artist residency at The Banff Centre For the Arts. “They were kind enough to give me a studio space and leave me to my own devices. It gave me a chance to devote myself entirely to the writing process.” Also a first, Jill co-wrote a number of songs with producer Les Cooper and renowned singer-songwriter, Ron Sexsmith, who has also collaborated with Elvis Costello and Coldplay. “At first I was a little intimidated to work with Ron, but when we sat down to work, we had such a good time that I forgot what it was I was nervous about. We wrote five or six songs together in short order. Three of them appear on this album.” (“Chances,” “Old Flame,” and “One More Time”.)
Jill chose the album title Chances as befitting her approach to both music and matters of the heart. “ “Chances” is a love song, but it’s really about the mysterious role that chances play in our lives.” Recently, Jill took another chance and relocated from her adopted home of Halifax to Vancouver, as a result of the chance meeting that inspired the song. “I am drawn to write about love because it is a theme for the ages. Romance, on the other hand, seems to have gone out of style in much of modern music. I like to think of myself as a hopeful romantic, rather than a helpless one.”