It might be because of her years of classical piano solitude.
It might be because she is a voracious autodidact.
Or it might be because she likes to do things the hard way.
Whatever the reason, Montreal’s jenn mierau
chose to embark on the long and winding road of self-producing and recording, which has come to fruition in her upcoming release, HUSH, out September 13.
Having learned much from working with other producers, jenn felt the need to follow her own vision and see where it led her. She was already singing, playing Wurlitzer and making beats, but because recording was new territory, jenn’s songs saw numerous incarnations. She also began playing bass and electric guitar on her tracks and started experimenting with found-sound samples and vocal layering. With nods to Lykke Li and Imogen Heap, the result is an acoustic-ish, electro-ish labour of love that highlights her sweetly sexy voice.
Staunchly DIY, jenn counteracts her hours in the digital world by making her artwork the analog way: knitting, string art and yes, even her version of macaroni art. But for this album, she took the approach one step further by rug-hooking a 14,400 stitch self-portrait, while recording a time-lapse video of the process. The digital version of the artwork is remarkable, but the physical CD – which replicates the entire rug, front to back and side to side – is a mini marvel!
Crafting aside, jenn’s hard work has not gone unnoticed. In 2010, her song HUM was the AmazonMP3.com Free Song of the Day, and the Hollis P Monroe remix of the song was featured on URB.com and later released on the UK label, Defected Records. This year, jenn has joined the Brooklyn/Montreal label, Galactique Recordings and, in addition to a remix EP for the title track of her upcoming album, she’s been involved in several of their releases for the band, taperecorder. She’s also been stacking up co-writing collaborations with artists on numerous Montreal and US labels, notably, Ruoho Ruotsi of San Francisco’s De’fchild Recordings.
Matching the digital-analog juxtaposition of her recorded work, jenn’s live shows blend the vintage warmth of her Wurlitzer with loops and beats, as well as a revolving lineup of beatboxers, percussionists, keyboard bass and string players. And yet, as a true singer/songwriter, jenn’s live performances are just as engaging solo.
Now, emerging from her cocoon of self-production, the years of going it alone have paid off in a gorgeous way with the icy, versatile, electronic-influenced pop found throughout her September 13th release, HUSH.
“Hush and I’ll quietly sing to you. I’ve never been far from you.”