Honeymoon Punch packs flavour
What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice and everything nice.
That's what little girls are made of."
This familiar adage is an old nursery school rhyme that explains how girls come with equal parts sweet and salty. If you listen attentively to Jenn Grant's album, Honeymoon Punch, you will be treated to a tender and colourful album that satisfies the palette for both the sinful flavours — but with a touch of ingenuity and confidence.
The album is reminiscent of earlier days: pretty bouffant hair, liquid liner applied with precision and red talons freshly manicured. Grant's writing is hers alone on nearly all songs on the album, and each song blends successfully with the next. It's a jazzy album, and as Meghan McCready from the Aeolian Hall said about Grant's upcoming performance at Aeolian Hall on February 17, "Grant's performance at the Aeolian will definitely match the playful energy of her album; she will have the support of bass, bass clarinet, violin, piano, drums and some backup vocals." In addition to Grant, her bandmates include Kinley Dowling (violin, vocals), Sean McGillivray (bass and vocals), David Christensen (bass clarinet, vocals), Jonathan Goldsmith (piano, keys) and Gary Craig (drums). Grant herself shows her musical chops with vocals and guitar.
Grant first arrived on the music scene with her first album, Orchestra for the Moon, released in 2007. This was recorded at CBC Halifax and with help from other talented musicians, the album foreshadowed exciting events to come for this songstress.
Orchestra for the Moon landed Grant a deal with Six Shooter Records (known for producing Elliott Brood, Martin Tielli, Justin Rutledge and Luke Doucet, among others) and status as a top performer in the East Coast scene. She has toured with The Weakerthans and Hayden, and as a result, the rest of Canada was acquainted with the singing starlet. In 2006, she was awarded the East Coast Music Award for Best New Artist and earned a fine arts degree in the meantime.
When you listen to Honeymoon Punch, expect an upbeat album that sings of the journey of heartbreak, love and rejoicing. Grant said her albums to date are like reflections of her life's journeys. In her own words from an Exclaim! interview, she said: "Orchestra for the Moon, it was pre-any type of huge relationship when I wrote that album, and it was kind of starry- eyed. And then Echoes (2009) was 'Aww, I'm sad,' going through heartache and stuff. And this record, (Honeymoon Punch) I feel confident, self-assured and really happy. I know where I'm going; I just feel like I can stomp my feet on the ground a little more."
The first song on the album, Oh My Heart, is a welcoming opener that brings the album to front and centre. The sixth song, Getcha Good, is particularly foot-stomping and reflects a rockabilly sound. Walk Away is sensitive and softly put together. Finally, the tenth song, Stars To Waves, is closure for Grant: it is eerie, yet passionate. Haunting, yet with positive light. It leaves you wanting more of this scarlet beauty and ends the album with hope that Grant, undoubtedly, has more sugar and spice up in her sleeve.
Songs from Orchestra for the Moon and Echoes have been heard on Grey's Anatomy, Mercy Shattered and Heartland. Grant has performed across Canada, the U.S., and Europe with Hawksley Workman, Martin Tielli, Barenaked Ladies and more.
For more information, see www.myspace.com/jenngrant1, www.sixshooterrecords.com, or www.jenngrant.com.
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5