BRYCE JARDINE and the PARLOUR BIRDS – LEAN YEARS
1. No Matter Where You Are (3:32)
2. Room With A View (3:44)
3. The Hours I Could Not Keep (3:05)
4. All Your Best (3:02)
5. Be Still (3:33)
6. Lean Years (4:05)
ALL SONGS WRITTEN BY BRYCE JARDINE
PRODUCED, ENGINEERED and MIXED by BRAD KILPATRICK
MASTERED by PHIL DEMETRO, LACQUER CHANNEL MASTERING
RECORDED at HawksleytownV
COVER ART by KIERAN BRENT
BRYCE JARDINE – LEAD VOCALS, GUITARS
MICHELLE WILLIS – KEYBOARDS, VOCALS
NATHAN GRAY – GUITARS
STEPHEN CALLAHAN – BASS GUITAR
BRAD KILPATRICK – DRUMS
The songwriting of Lean Years follows the pattern of honest, personal narratives that characterized Bryce Jardine’s acclaimed solo album The Kids Are Gone. The gorgeous and engaging melodies heard on Jardine’s first album are present here, but boosted with fresh, evocative lyrics delivered in his haunting, emotive voice. Lean Years is about being young, struggling, broke, and in love, while hanging on to hope-filled dreams.
Each song stands out, while the entire collection is larger than the sum of its six strong parts. There is a muscular strength to the title track Lean Years, a post 2008 anthem of hope during hard times. Room With a View is a Chagall-like sweep over city rooftops, through streets, into subway stations, and back safe in the arms of a lover – it is a tribute to Toronto, its grittiness and its appeal. No Matter Where You Are is a delicate interplay between a child’s lullaby and a final goodbye to an elder loved one. The Hours I Could Not Keep is both a haunting love song and a meditation on personal struggle. Be Still is a mother’s lament for a lost son.
Lean Years is very much the work of the band Bryce Jardine and the Parlour Birds, which has been playing as a unit in the Toronto clubs for the past few years. The sound of the EP is that of their live shows: contemporary folk-rock with a country style and sensibility. There are very few tricks in Brad Kilpatrick’s production and recording – it’s just the band.
BRYCE JARDINE – THE KIDS ARE GONE (2012)
1. The Kids Are Gone 4:51 (lyrics)
2. Fiction Of Love 3:16 (lyrics)
3. Before The Fall 4:46 (lyrics)
4. Death In Life 4:36 (lyrics)
5. Dreamland 4:30 (lyrics)
6. Out Of The Woods 4:12 (lyrics)
7. Bright Young Eyes 4:58 (lyrics)
8. Feathers & Tar 4:25 (lyrics)
9. Train Song 3:46 (lyrics)
10. Better Half 4:03 (lyrics)
ALL SONGS WRITTEN BY BRYCE JARDINE
PRODUCER, DEREK DOWNHAM
ENGINEER, JOHN DINSMORE
MIXED BY JAMESON ELLIOT
MASTERED BY JOAO CARVALHO
RECORDED AT LINCOLN COUNTY SOCIAL CLUB
BRYCE JARDINE – LEAD VOCALS, ACOUSTIC GUITAR (ALL TRACKS)
SERENA RYDER – VOCALS (THE KIDS ARE GONE, BETTER HALF)
AARON GOLDSTEIN – PEDAL STEEL (BETTER HALF)
MICHAEL O’GRADY – ACCORDIAN, TIN FLUTE (FICTION OF LOVE)
CHRISTINA & MARISA ZAZA – VOCALS (OUT OF THE WOODS, BEFORE THE FALL)
DEREK DOWNHAM- ALL ADDITIONAL INSTRUMENTS (ALL TRACKS)
SERENA RYDER APPEARS COURTESY OF EMI
DEREK DOWNHAM APPEARS COURTESY OF SIXSHOOTER RECORDS
I met Bryce Jardine in person for the first time in summer of 2011. He had previously contacted me through my own website about wanting to make a record. Upon hearing his demos, there was no question that there was an undeniably unique voice and passionate songwriter within this young artist. From the get-go of our first encounter, we discussed the direction of his music and the influences. Very few people I’ve met at Bryce’s age would know who Townes Van Zant was, let alone hold him as one of their personal heroes. His knowledge of quality modern music also piqued my interest.
We decided that our egos seemed to be in sync enough to work together, and within the month, we had started playing together, hashing out arrangements. We then entered The Lincoln County Social Club recording studio in Toronto with John Dinsmore (NQ Arbuckle, Kathleen Edwards) engineering. Bryce and I covered most of the instruments, with special guests like Aaron Goldstien (pedal steel, City and Colour, Cowboy Junkies), Michael O’Grady (tin whistle, The Mahones) and Serena Ryder (EMI recording artist, Juno Award winning vocalist) adding their special talents to Bryce’s unique songs.
What came out of those sessions is a dynamic album filled with grace, hope and redemption. I believe we achieved the record we wanted to complete: A solid, roots/rock record, steeped in the past and the future. This is not a throwback record. This is NOW.
Derek Downham (The Beauties/Six Shooter records)