Jadea Kelly recently released her second full-length album Clover.  The album is a wonderful collection of tunes that range from very personal sentiments such as “Mary Don’t Go,” a song about her grandmother, to songs inspired by an intense storm, or her desire to move up north of Toronto.

The vocals are the most prominent feature on the album which is so satisfying because her lyrics are lovely and evocative and her voice is smooth as silk.  Kelly has a delicate grace about her which is very much reflected in the melodies she sings and her gentle yet precise tone.  Certain songs, however, reveal a more powerful side of the chanteuse, most evident in the choruses of tracks like “Powell River” and “I’ll Be.”  “I’ll Be” is a noteworthy tune because of how the production of the song captures the contrast between feelings of weakness and power.  The vocals start out soft as Kelly sings of vulnerability and hope, but grow stronger in the chorus as she reveals inner strength.


What highlights Kelly’s strong songwriting in addition to her polished vocals and interesting lyrics is her wonderful band of excellent musicians who add tasteful accompaniment to each song.  The electric guitar parts in particular are strikingly atmospheric and suit the music and production perfectly.

Lead guitarist Tom Juhas is clearly an accomplished player. More importantly, he has a knack for adding oftentimes subtle fills and parts that don’t overpower Kelly’s vocal melodies or other goings on and yet contribute an incredible amount to the vibe of the songs.  The guitar parts are not generally placed in the foreground, which adds to their mystique and reveals the strength of the producer/engineer who kept a flow and feel going for the entirety of the album.  It’s just lovely from start to end.

My favourite moments on the album are the vocal melody in the chorus of the title track, “Wild West Rain,” the way “Saintly Stare” is musically staged, and the lyrics and melody in the chorus of “Lone Wolf”:

“All traces of your shadows,
will find their way back home.
I found you through the gallows
When the night falls, when the moon crawls
I’ll find you still.
All traces of your shadows
will find the day on your way back home.”

This is an album to be proud of and a strong next step in a blossoming career.

Check out the studio session for “Lone Wolf”:


Jadea Kelly held a CD release event at The Pearl Company in Hamilton, Ontario on June 22.  The word I’d most readily use to describe the Toronto-based singer-songwriter is enchanting.  The lovely miss Kelly sings emotively and in such a way that you feel it right down in your gut; at several points during the two hour show I felt a rush of shivers through my body.

Jadea is a true talent. The range of subject matter on her recently released album Clover is quite impressive. “Mary Don’t Go” is a wonderfully touching song about her grandmother, “Saintly Stare” was written after an intense lighting storm that reminds her to be strong through tough decisions, and “Count On” was written for her sweetheart to describe her feelings when he’s away from home touring.

The songs are brought to life not only through Jadea’s songwriting skills, but through her band of talented musicians. The drums and bass ground the tunes and add to the rhythmic structure, the keyboards add to the ambiance and the solo guitar parts add tasteful fills. The heavier second set at The Pearl Company show truly allowed Tom Juhas, the solo guitarist, to showcase his masterful command of the instrument.  The guitar acts as an extension of his body and he seems to find the perfect tone to compliment each song.  He is an extremely atmospheric player and his playing really enhances Jadea’s already strong songwriting both on the album and in live performance.

The level of attentiveness from the audience was a reflection of Jadea’s mesmerizing stage presence, the tightness of the band and the magic of the venue itself. The Pearl Company is located in an old, converted warehouse. During intermission, they served tea and baked goods, and there was local art and jewelry for sale. The charming venue is a true representation of the thriving arts culture in Hamilton.

See the video for her single “Wild West Rain” here: http://youtu.be/9-5AFjfqrBw

Photo by Stephanie Beatson