Jennifer Castle Live
Over the course of her fruitful career in music, Jennifer Castle has collaborated with U.S. Girls, Owen Pallett, Doug Paisley, and Kath Bloom; she has toured with Destroyer, Steve Gunn, Cass McCombs, Kurt Vile, Iron & Wine, and M. Ward, among others. Daniel Romano has even recorded a song called “Jennifer Castle.” But never before has she sounded so certain of her uncertainty, or so possessed by the urgency of her explorations.
Angels of Death was produced by Castle and longtime collaborator Jeff McMurrich. Although augmented by notable other players at subsequent sessions, the core band comprised Paul Mortimer on lead guitar, David Clarke on acoustic guitar, Jonathan Adjemian on organ/piano, Mike Smith on bass (he also wrote the string arrangements), Robbie Gordon on drums, and Castle on guitar and vocals. Much of it, and most of Jennifer’s vocal tracks, were recorded live in the church over one cold weekend; “the moon,” Castle reflects, “was a member of the band.”
Each side of the LP ends with a reprise of a 2008 song entitled “We Always Change,” a bit of wordplay, since “reprise” means a repetition or iteration. And so the record ends with metamorphoses—sequential transformations into a tree, the sea, a flame—much as it began with an enveloping presence neither fog, nor mist, nor cloud (“but you get the gist.”) Indeed, we always change. There’s no way out. We’re just passing through the ever omnipresent song. So let us, each of us, take our share in the Muses’ roses before we depart. Sappho knows.
Opening set by Sophie Noel
Sophie Noel’s original compositions are a spare, elegant blend of jazz and country. Coloured with compassion and humour, her songs will reach you if you are listening.