Chicago-based singer-songwriter Jenny Gillespie’s follow up to her 2004 EP Love and Ammunition is the floating, piano driven Light Year.
Like a Joni Mitchell record, it’s filled with delicate piano melodies and non-standard guitar tunings giving the songs a slightly off-kilter sound.
Still, she manages to make the eight songs work, tying them together with her gliding vocals that can jump from nearly spoken to ethereal.
Tunes like Vanishing Point, Nightmares and Appointments and Hummingbirds utilize abundant arrangements with Josh Stewart (bass, cello), Jenny Lee (violin), John Knecht (drums), Adam Ollendorff (pedal steel) and even some cajon, mandolin, glockenspiel and trumpet.
In contrast, Hydra seems sparse with just piano, upright bass, cello and atmospherics while Shells features only Jenny and an acoustic guitar.
If we had to pick a single, Slow Clouds Break would be the winner, with its uniquely-patterned verses and hopefully romantic lyrics.