Even though we are only a few months into 2013, things are already going swimmingly well for Halifax musician Jenn Grant.
On the heels of the September release of her critically acclaimed record The Beautiful Wild, Grant’s latest record earned her the very first East Coast Music Award of her career (Pop Recording of the Year) last week in Halifax. After having been nominated 14 prior times and having gone home empty-handed, Grant says the feeling of finally bringing home a trophy was a good one for reasons aside from typical bragging rights.
“It definitely feels good to have won my first East Coast Music Award for this record,” she says. “For me personally, this record is very much about my mother. She passed away last year but had the chance to hear The Beautiful Wild before it was mastered. She loved the record and was so incredibly supportive of me. My mother also loved the celebration of the East Coast Music Awards so if there was a right time to win my first award, this year would have been it.”
Grant, performing on Tuesday evening at the Tide & Boar in downtown Moncton, traveled a slightly different musical path for The Beautiful Wild than what she had delivered with her prior album, Honeymoon Punch. There is a solemn air hanging over many of the songs, which in turn creates a different kind of pop intimacy.
Grant is the first to admit that she is fortunate enough to be working with labels both in Canada and the United States whose agenda is for her to simply make the best music that she is capable of making.
To help realize her vision for the record, she enlisted the assistance of producer Daniel Ledwell.
Ledwell, who also happens to be Grant’s husband and who won the East Coast Music Award for Producer of the Year, had collaborated with his wife on her 2011 album Honeymoon Punch.
“Daniel is everything that I could ever really want to have in a producer,” Grant says. “I feel that a big reason why we like working together in the studio so much is that we both enjoy taking risks to make beautiful music. He knew what I was looking to get out of the record before we even set foot in the studio.
“I feel the music I have come into on this record is the beginning of a specific style that I am in the midst of discovering and trying to work towards.”
Earlier this year, Grant had the opportunity to dip into the United States for some touring south of the border with fellow Canuck Kathleen Edwards in addition to a series of shows undertaken on her own. Dubbed by the Boston Globe as an “Act that could make some noise in 2013,” Grant says that thanks to a great team of people working behind the scenes, it makes her job of touring the United States that much more pleasant.
“It feels good to do some in-depth touring in the United States as in the past, I had seemingly only peppered cities like New York and Los Angeles,” she says. “The first tour that I did with Kathleen (Edwards) was amazing as she is one of my favourite people. I’ve done a bunch of more touring in the States since, and while I suppose it could be easy to get overwhelmed at the prospect of needing to cover so much ground there, I don’t let it get to me.
“When you’re on tour, even in a place as big as the States, it becomes a small world in many ways. People that are interested in seeking out good music get connected to the music somehow whether it be through friends or the Internet. I am just so grateful when people come to see me play. All I can really do though is to keep trucking along, try to make some good music and put on the best shows I can.”
Article published in the March 15, 2013 edition of the Times & Transcript