Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Keep A Light On”?
It was the first song we recorded in Portland at Flora and I think it kind of solidified us as a group and informed a sort of relaxed and joyful process to recording the album. It’s a song about keeping a light on in your heart.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
Motherhood is something I longed for for a long time, and so some of it’s meaning comes from that place.
How was the filming process and experience behind the video?
I loved working with Samantha Scaffidi. We talked about this special ‘nowhere’ place where our ideas come from and I really trusted her instinctively right away. I love the way she told this story and the characters she used.
The single comes off your new album Love, Inevitable – what’s the story behind the title?
It comes from a night in Portland, and a Daniel Johnston song that means “Love will find you in the end”.
How was the recording and writing process?
I was tired, hopeful, a bunch of things really when I was writing this record. I wrote it between March and June mostly, while waiting to find out if I was having a baby. We had been doing fertility treatments for a little while. Sometimes i felt really inspired, sometimes I felt like I couldn’t think about writing depending on what was going on for me at the time. But Tucker was patient and inspiring from the beginning. The recording process felt sacred, almost like a spiritual time in my life. I was about 4 months pregnant when we began this project in July. It was an adventure.
What was it like to work with Tucker Martine and how did that relationship develop?
I was a fan of Tuckers’ production through the albums he made with his partner, Laura Veirs. I just reached out to him and wasn’t sure if anything would come of it but he was just a joyful beam from the getgo. I was super honored to get the chance to work with him and with the people he brought to the album.
How much did he get to influence the album?
As much as he wanted. I think I was open and eager to try whatever he was thinking. He’s a passionate and focused producer and I didn’t want to miss out on any of his ideas. It was natural and easy to work together.
What made you want to go for a whole new direction, a departure of sort and with this record in particular?
I’ve made most of my records with my partner, Daniel Ledwell, who I also tour with and now have a beautiful child with. It just felt like the right time to try something different. I really love working with Dan but it’s also important to have new and different types of experiences in life as we all know. Sometimes it’s scary to venture out but he was so supportive of me which made it extra fun and easy.
What role does Halifax play in your music?
We now live in Lake Echo, just outside of Halifax. So a lot my ideas and lyrics are born of our natural surroundings. To me, Halifax is a collection of people- mostly artists- who i love dearly. They are in and out of our house like family, and have been an important part of who I have become. So in that way they are part of me and part of my music. I also lived in Halifax since I was ten, with my mom and brother and bits and pieces of those memories come in and out of my songs as well.
How much did the whole Americana and mostly rural environment get to influence the music on the record?
I think that’s a better question for Tucker but honestly i don’t think we had any outside influences. We were in our own music bubble, feeling very present, and that was probably one of the greatest aspects of the experience for me.
Videos like the one for “Keep A Light On” has this crispy, old school vibe – musically speaking, did you draw inspiration from the past decades?
Nope we were just playing music and that’s what happened.
Would you call this your most personal record to date?
I’m not sure. It’s definitely personal. And maybe the older I get the more personal I become. Ok, yes.
What aspect of love and relationships did you get to explore on this record?
The ideas seem to me to be about letting go but still keeping room for love.
Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
Some sweet grass in my living room that my aunt gave me became the song Sweet Grass. As well as Eli’s birthday in Portland. (he played bass and guitars on the album and is on tour with me now) I added a verse in that song as his forever birthday present.
How has the road been treating you so far? The first 5 shows have gone really well so far. I was worried to go on tour again because we did a few early shows where i was feeling really overwhelmed about being on the road with a newborn. But we are figuring it out together, one day at a time.
Calgary was great. It’s the last show we played. The National Music Centre is a beautiful space and it’s shows like that that make me feel like I can really give a gift to people. And that is how I give a gift to myself. Shows that feel like you are growing, that your audience is growing with you- those are the experiences that keep me here..
What else is happening next in Jenn Grant’s world?
There are whispers of Europe and hopefully America that are soon to become truths.