Jenny Gillespie: Light Year

Jenny Gillespie’s hushed, vaguely introspective musings find her treading similar territory to Feist, Sarah MacLachlan and even early Joni Mitchell on occasion, but there’s a hazy glow that adds an unexpected lilt to her proceedings. Her third effort overall following her eponymous 2001 debut and the six song Love and Ammunition four years later, Light Year evokes Day-Glo imagery and idyllic settings, pondered ever so sweetly through poetry and prose. She graces these fragile soundscapes with subtlety and flair, utilizing primarily piano and acoustic guitar, which are then tastefully embellished by bells, accordion, cello, fiddle, mandolin and pedal steel. Yet despite the richness of the arrangements, the songs never feel over-indulgent, radiating instead a shimmer, sparkle and gentle sway that’s ever so beautiful and beguiling. In fact, the entire set is so unerringly mesmerizing, it’s a challenge to distinguish a single standout, although “Vanishing Point,” “Littleblood,” and “Hummingbirds” certainly vie for that distinction. However, with the songs maintaining such low wattage, it may also be necessary to submit to more than a cursory listening – in fact, several may be required before true seduction sets in. Yet be assured that once its given those repeated encounters, Light Year will shine that much stronger.

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