Grant makes trip to Aeolian
"I was getting really depressed about not having any tours booked and I was finding it really challenging," Grant said over the phone from her Halifax home. "After I had been here for eight months I was like 'Okay, I'm done!' and I went to Egypt. It was nicer right away because I felt so removed from my situation … I felt like a new kind of palette was available."
While in Cairo, she wrote several songs featured on Honeymoon Punch, Grant's 2011 pop folk effort. And though now the city has now become demonstration grounds for the Egyptian people, Grant insists Cairo had an effect on her music, stating, "My ideas about art are influenced a lot by my surroundings."
For the next month and a half, those surroundings will be North America, as Grant embarks on the first of many tours to promote her new album. She will be performing at Aeolian Hall on February 17 before conquering the rest of Southern Ontario, Quebec, and then the United States.
It's a bit of a change for Grant, who lived a more domestic life in 2010. Many months were spent building a home in Halifax with fiancé and producer of Honeymoon Punch, Daniel Ledwell (who also performs in In-Flight Safety).
"My boyfriend bought this crack house and he renovated it and made it into a really cute house," she laughed. "(I've been) doing a lot of cooking and home things, rooting myself down, but feeling solid and happy in life."
Her newfound happiness shines through on the album, as Grant treads new musical ground. Certainly, the songs exude a newfound optimism and tenderness, but musically Grant has taken risks, too, from the Nancy Sinatraesque swagger of Getcha Good to How I Met You, which features the use of synthesizers, a nod to French indie-rockers, Phoenix.
Most importantly, however, Honeymoon Punch marks a personal growth since 2009's Echoes. Though her previous effort was well received, many saw it as too lugubrious for the everyday listener. Grant, too, believes it wasn't the introduction she intended.
"When you're feeling down and you meet somebody, you don't really give them your full self, or your true self ... so I think ... (Echoes) got good reviews but it sort of disappeared. And then with this album, reviewers are more vocal about it because they have something else to compare it to."
In that sense, Honeymoon Punch has become a re-introduction to the "true" Jenn Grant, but it also serves as a statement about the nature of love itself.
"This record, I wanted to take risks and be daring and that's a reflection of how I think. The best art comes from when you challenge yourself and when you take risks and you don't know what people will think of it, and I think that's sort of part of people's love experiences."
So take a risk and experience Jenn Grant's infectious optimism and love-drunk melodies as she plays at the Aeolian Hall on Thursday, February 17. Tickets are $20 in advance, $15 with a student card, available at Grooves and The Village Idiot.