Jennifer Jane – Beautiful Chaos (Independent)
There’s a certain quirky quality to Jennifer Jane Thauberger’s music, which is consistently appealing. The Saskatoon, Saskatchewan native has a talent for keeping her listeners on their toes, and when so much contemporary pop music is so desperately predictable, an artist with such an open approach to her music should be cherished and encouraged. The fact that she retains a singular artistic vision throughout the dozen tracks on “Beautiful Chaos” is the icing on the cake.
Interestingly, music is just one of the artistic disciplines she pursues. She’s also a dancer and actress, a visual artist and poet, and it’s the latter that drove her to write songs. “Beautiful Chaos” is her debut collection, and it begins with the dynamic “Can't Touch This” – its juddering chord-play combining perfectly with Thauberger’s melodic vocal and almost wistful theme. It’s a super start and instantly places her in a tradition of female singer-songwriters that includes Kate Bush and Tori Amos.
Recorded with a full band – eight musicians in total, including Thauberger – allows for infinite variations, and several of them appear on “Come Son, Come Shade”, including skanking rhythm guitars, wandering basslines and a gypsy jazz circus vibe. On “Economical” a synthesized pulse guides the melody, contrasting with both Thauberger’s vocal and piano, while “Keep Your Kiss” sounds delightfully grown-up – thanks to its smart arrangement and quite possibly the finest vocal on the album.