Jadea Kelly “Roses”

Darth Jadea Music, 2022

An album that reflects on love, connection and the freedom to do whatever brings you joy.

artwork for Jadea Kelly 'Roses'Canadian singer Jadea Kelly has a superb voice, and her new album, ‘Roses‘, featuring thirteen new original songs, perfectly showcases her excellent songwriting and her stunning vocals. Composed over the last four years in Ontario Canada, Nashville Tennessee and Los Angeles California, where she is now based, the album takes us on a journey that mirrors the changes in her life, leaving behind people and places, though not without some regret and heartache, and eventually finding independence and contentment.

Opener ‘Driveway’, moody and atmospheric, immediately evokes a sense of longing and nostalgia, whilst ‘Stupid Goddamn Face’, with that wonderful voice accompanied at the start only by acoustic guitar, is about the end of a relationship, and features a repeated “I’m OK” trying to convince that things will be alright. As the personal story develops, the stripped back, beautiful ‘Any Old Boat’- “any old boat will do, long as it’s me and you”- and the upbeat ‘Happy’- “do whatever makes you happy”- reflect on love, connection, and the freedom to do whatever brings you joy, themes that run throughout the whole album.

Jadea Kelly has been described by CBC as “one of the shining jewels in the crown of Canadian songwriters”. In 2016 she was awarded ‘Contemporary Singer of the Year’ at the Canadian Folk Music Awards for her album ‘Love and Lust’. Since then, notwithstanding the challenges of the pandemic, she has focused on this, her fourth album, most of it being recorded in Toronto with four different producers, all of whom do a great job, and with a range of highly talented musicians, including Aaron Goldstein on guitars and pedal steel, Joel Schwartz on guitars, mandolin and keyboards, and Lyle Molzan (drums and percussion). “I ended up tracking the majority of the album in Toronto with my Canadian friends and bandmates, in person and virtually. It felt full circle to record in Canada after four exploratory years in the US. I love California with all my heart. It is my newfound home and has provided a playground to rediscover my confidence, my freedom, my voice and a collection of songs that truly reflects my journey to health.”

Roses‘ is a brilliant album, without a doubt one of the best that this reviewer has heard in 2022. It has been well worth the wait.

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About GrahamBollands 28 Articles
Proud dad of Jess, Harry and Lucie. Was a headteacher for 17 years and now pleased to share my experiences working as a university tutor training the next generation of primary teachers. Now living the dream in North Devon, doing up a barn, growing vegetables, walking the coastpath, volunteering on a farm alongside young adults with learning difficulties, presenting a weekly radio show, singing in a choir, and whenever possible, listening to great music and going to gigs.
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