(06 March 2010) This April 14th Swedish singer Jade Ell-- first showcased at Musical Discoveries for her stunning vocal work on the Xanima album Inside Warrior (review) in 2009--will release her third solo album under the new monikker Ellen. Titled Mourning This Morning (JadeMade Music (Denmark) JMM101, 2010), this stunning album is the first written, recorded and produced by Jade Ell herself.
Mourning This Morning is an artistic evolution from Jade Ell's debut solo recording Promises and Prayers (Edel Records (Germany) 0039322 ERE, 1999) and the follow-up Methods (of a Hostage Negotiator) (Trapeze Music (Denmark), TRPCD001, 2005) released six years later. On her second album "Methods" Jade worked with Mats Hedström, member of the 70s Swedish hitgroup Magnum Bonum. Her first single "Got to Let You Go" was appointed to Record of the Week by British music magazine Tip Sheet. It also reached #1 on Sweden's national Radio P3 and #3 on Denmark's national Radio P3, where she was nominated Best Newcomer on their Pop Shop Awards show.
Jade Ell is a true live artist, having played at many venues in Sweden, Holland, Germany and Denmark, as well as New York City's The Bitter End and The Living Room. Having played both large and small stages, Jade is easily able to show off her great singing and songwriting talents and a quality she posesses is the ability to keep a great presence of mind on stage. The Swedish Performing Right's Sociey has awarded Jade Ell for her work and her songs have been recorded by both international and upcoming artists. A few examples are Sanne Salomonsen (DK), Margaret Berger (NOR), Pandora (SWE), Yuki (Japan), Natacha (CH), Rebeldes (Mexico), Diego (Mexico), Nikki Cland (Mexico), Simon Mathew (DK), among others.
Imagine a music box coming to life; a desolated amusement park from long ago--old photos spread around on the ground--telling the story of the past in sepia-colored songs. This is the slide show that accompanies the all new space at Jade Ell's website to support the release of Mourning This Morning. The songs on this new album reflect a period of mourning and understanding the past--bringing it all into the light--accepting the passing of time.
It's also very much part of a grieving process, as well as truly reflecting her genuine solo performances around the world. It's time for a new sound and a new name. She never met her biological grandmother, Ellen, and now with both her biological parents dead, it has become her own personal story to tell. This extremely sensitive work finally arrives in the marketplace this spring. The main ingredients of this album are, apart from Jade's delightful vocal work: accordion, glockenspiel, cello and piano. Guests include: Petter Lindgard (SWE) trumpet and horns; Emeli Jeremias (SWE) cello; Lise Blaase (DK) vocals; and Mark Mangold (US) church organ.
The fourteen tracks on Mourning This Morning pay a lyrical tribute to Jade Ell's ancestors and are a collection of lovely vocal pieces that also explore the artist's tremendous singing, songwriting and production talent. The first of two instrumentals is the brief "Mourning Prelude" that introduces the album. The story telling theme of the album is clear from the almost-spoken and lightly sung track "Make It Disappear" that establishes the theme for the songs that follow.
Piano and cello working together support the heartfelt and more upbeat number "Hold The Gate." Light vocal harmonies add a lovely texture to Jade's passionate lead. "April 14" is a very sensitive and warmly delivered ballad sung atop acoustic guitar and piano. Listen for the rich choruses in this very memorable track. The vocal dominated "Man Overboard" is an evocative ballad featuring Lise Blaase accompanied by piano and Jade's accordion and backing vocals. Layers of vocals with crisp yet light arrangements best describe "Guilty As Charged." We loved the church organ instrumental conclusion.
We especially appreciated Jade's evocative vocal lead work in the acoustic ballad "Wedding Day" as well as the multi-layered vocal harmonies. The drum work adds a perfect crispness alongside the accordion in the arrangement. The production and varied arrangements of the upbeat "Pour Me A Cup" makes it one of the most memorable tracks of the album. "The Postcard" is sung atop an extremely crisp arrangement. A singer songwriter track, the vocal production brings Jade's stunning voice front and center and is a perfect illustration of her well-honed talent.
The upbeat and rhythmic texture "Center of Myself" continues to illustrate the breadth of the artist's talent--sung in a different key, the dance floor passages with allusions to the NCIS theme work quite well. By sharp contrast, the memorable pop-sung ballad "Borrowed Days" alternates between stark piano-backed verses and rich orchestral choruses complete with multi-layered backing vocal harmonies. The pop texture continues with the upbeat and very memorable track "The Rain Song." Listen for the happiness in Jade's lead and harmony vocals. Delightful!
The richly produced ballad "My Cocoon" is a stunning track. It is warmly arranged and features some of the most outstanding vocal production on the album. Mourning This Morning concludes with "For Regina." Like several of the other tracks on the album not individually noted for their effects, this piano driven instrumental includes a variety of additional sounds to deliver the overall theme.
Although Jade Ell first appeared in these pages as part of Xanima, the artist has an equally stunning solo career. Her debut and second solo albums provide a good introduction, but Jade Ell has truly come into her own with the production of her new album.
Mourning This Mourning is an incredible project that will certainly broaden interest in Jade Ell's music and expand her audience worldwide.