Review : Essie Jain - Until the Light of Morning
PitchforkThe Wire contributor Rob Young recently published a weighty tome on the history of British folk music titled Electric Eden (out in the U.S. in May). In it, Young expertly threads together the various manifestations of the genre and takes a look at how each successive generation has drawn on strands from the previous one, essentially mapping out a folk music version of Simon Reynolds' hardcore continuum. The book highlights how the root of many of those stylistic shifts stems from material aimed at children. At times this occurs through work like the traditional song "The Derby Ram", which Young uses as an example of how lyrics with a spiritual air often end up as kids' nursery rhymes; at others it's channeled from sources such as Oliver Postgate's children's TV shows "The Clangers" and "Pogles' Wood", which cast a considerable shadow over the Ghost Box/hauntology scene that emerged around the middle of the last decade.
New York-based English singer-songwriter Essie Jain has intuitively wired herself into that same ethos with the release of her third album, Until the Light of Morning. Jain has worked on the periphery of the contemporary folk scene since contributing to the Kill Rock Stars compilation The Sound the Hare Heard in 2006, but for this album she seems to have used all her prior recorded efforts as a cipher of sorts, a way of finding out what makes this music tick. In the sleeve notes Jain claims these songs were written after her friends started to have children; they all seemed to be searching for something appropriately soothing to get their little ones to sleep at night. And soothing it is-- both the vocals and arrangements produce a sense of being swaddled in a great surge of warmth, with Jain adroitly cushioning the listener from the real world....full text
PrefixmagEssie Jain's third album Until the Light of Morning marked several firsts for the New York-based singer-songwriter. It was her first to be released independently. It was also her entry into family-specific music as the album was written as lullabies. The songs featured minimal arrangements primarily featuring her fragile voice and light piano or keyboard accompaniment....full text
YoucrazydreamersI first wrote about Essie here and have been keeping a close eye on her career since then. I recently contacted her in regards to playing a show for us here in Brighton (Drifter Promotions) and we got talking about her new album, Until The Light Of Morning which she then kindly sent me. To quote Essie from her liner notes she writes ďThis record is made for every parent and every baby(and anyone else) who needs to rest and head off into the land of sleep. The record is designed to unwind itself as it goes along, as the music becomes softer and more relaxed, eventually becoming as instrumental as the heartbeatĒ
Itís easy to think having read that this album is perhaps one dimensional with regard to itís target audience, but I have no children, am single yet find myself completely submerged in it. It leaves me with a feeling of complete safety, of comfort, of peace. Itís as though when I play it, it wraps itís arms around me and lets me into itís mystical world, leaving me with a sense of wonder and hope . There is an ethereal quality to all of Essieís music, so delicate and fragile that you donít want to even move when youíre listening to it in case you break the magical spell it seems to cast upon you. Itís stunning! Her voice alone is enough to keep you enthralled, itís so controlled and intimate with long, drawn out notes reaching right inside of you. As I say, itís stunning, itís a beautiful gift that she shares with us all....full text
Essie Jain Album Reviews
Sweetslyrics Top 20 Artists
Essie Jain Lyrics
Is it ok to tell your new boyfriend about your ex-boyfriend?