Album Review: Liz Janes

Liz Janes may appear on the roster of indie label Asthmatic Kitty–home to Sufjan Stevens and a handful of hipster blog darlings–but her latest album Say Goodbye isn’t what you’d expect from a modern-day “indie” project. It’s somewhere between Carole King and the early work of Minnie Riperton. Serene and beautiful, though not quite “hip”.

While Janes set out to make a soul record, she was thoroughly conscious of her limitations. “I’m not a real soul singer,” she stated. “I wanted to make music with real meaning, that would be nourishing and comforting to the listener. I wanted the music to be inspirational and full of light—without ignoring life’s violence.”

You really can’t describe it much better than that. She’s not trying to belt out like a Duffy or an Adele, as her element of soulfulness comes from a place far more significant than the vocal chords–her heart. Yes, it sounds a bit cheesy, but it makes sense once you understand the process behind this album.

The lyrics and melody of each song were written a cappella, captured during those quiet introspective moments of life. Then, Janes collaborated with a group of talented musicians to flesh out each composition, adding the lush instrumentation you hear on the final record.

Sure, this isn’t the typical kind of music you’d hear on Manhunt Daily, but it’s worth checking out if you’re into something soft, jazzy and decidedly unpretentious. For a small taste, take a listen to the album’s lead track “I Don’t Believe”.

– Dewitt

To listen to a preview track from this album, follow the JUMP:

Download this track for FREE courtesy of Asthmatic Kitty!