Eilen Jewell Creates Indelible Noir-ish Pulp Fiction, Proves Ready For Crown With 'Queen of the Minor Key' Out June 28
On new album 'Queen of the Minor Key,' Eilen Jewell and her ace band conjure up songs depicting broken bottles as protection, bad voodoo and Cupid using a sawed-off shotgun instead of a bow and arrow.
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The dark, often times haunted tales on the album, out June 28, 2011 on Signature Sounds Recordings, are fleshed out at points by surf guitar, pedal steel and upright bass, but always hold Jewell's smoldering voice and unforgettable lyrics center stage.
Lines like "you picked up a broken bottle, in case anyone gave us any trouble, and we walked all the way back to Cortez" ("Santa Fe") and "I showed you how to kiss, I let you shoot my hats off, 'cause I knew you wouldn't miss" ("I Remember You") showcase Jewell as a lyricist nearing the height of her powers.
She's able to throw out dusky, hyper-detailed phrases, while still finding room for a humorous yet twisted track like "Bang Bang Bang," which depicts Cupid as "about two years of age, a really freaky thing to see, he was bragging about his sawed-off six gauge, hidden right up his tattered sleeve."
The lines did not come easily at first, as Jewell was struck with a severe case of writers block when she began the follow-up to the critically acclaimed 'Sea of Tears.' To help she retreated to a cabin in the mountains of Idaho, where the Boston-based artist is originally from. With no electricity and no running water, she was able to focus on crafting sketches of songs, breaking her block and building the framework of 'Queen of the Minor Key.'
Eilen Jewell and her longtime band of Jason Beek (drums, harmony vocals), Jerry Miller (electric, acoustic and steel guitars), and Johnny Sciascia (upright bass) turned the sketches into songs. A crack unit with an innate musical connection developed after playing 150-plus shows a year for the last five years, the band has an impressive array of styles and sounds displayed fully on the album. From the rollicking, hard-edged rockabilly surf of the title track to the whining pedal steel and gentle strum of the autobiographical "Santa Fe."
"If Neko Case, Madeleine Peyroux and Billie Holiday had a baby girl who grew up to front a rockabilly band, she'd probably sound a lot like Eilen Jewell." - Washington Post
Photo credit: Erik Jacobs
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Jewell and her band will tour relentlessly throughout the rest of 2011, for a full list of tour dates and more information, go to: