Love & Lust
Reviewed by: Jane Roser
It’s true what they say about heartbreak- that immense pain tends to create the most beautiful art. Canadian singer-songwriter Jadea Kelly fled her native Canada for Nashville after discovering that her boyfriend had been in a long-term affair. She threw herself into her music, channeling the pain and weathering the storm. Several tracks on Kelly’s third studio album Love & Lust refer to water, rain and storms, both literally and metaphorically and offer a glimmer of hope because, as she explains, when the storms part, sunshine breaks through.
Recorded in Toronto at Noble Street Studios and The Woodshed Studio, the album was co-produced by Stew Crookes, Tom Juhas and Jadea Kelly live, which honestly blew my mind. Kelly has an ethereal voice and sounds as if she is singing on air-it’s so beautifully luminous and enchanting and reminded me a bit of Heather Nova. Kelly offers honest, well-written lyrics delivered with a dignified grace, so it’s no wonder that she recently won Contemporary Singer of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards.
With themes of fear, misery, loss and mercy, you might think Love & Lust would be a downer of a listen, but it’s actually quite the opposite. Saying that she’s “tired of love, tired of truth”, Kelly faces despair and bravely rises above the ashes with angelic grace and dignity. To paraphrase Louisa May Alcott, Kelly does not seem to be afraid of the storms, for she has learned how to sail her ship.