"The album, Four Songs & Four Songs, is a collection of music that was a result of my interest - or rather, ability to focus - for a time in songwriting.
I had begun writing songs/singing out for the first time in 2001, and wrote songs until about 2004.
I still spent a good number of years fine-tuning the songs and performed them at open mics in very different ways.
They are essentially built in a way that allows for improvisation and also have some ambiguity within the chords to allow variations on the melodies.
As a drummer/percussionist and bass player, as well, I used quite a bit of that knowledge to help with the guitar parts throughout the time I spent focusing on performing and recording songs.
I've got several versions of probably each of 8-12 different "finished" songs.
However, most of the recordings I've done have been at home. Through the generosity of my friend, Alexander Boyes, who was able to find most of the recorded output done at his studio, Transit Recordings (from around 2003-2005), however, I was able to hand Nicolas (Godin of Stomoxine) a segment of my output that had come out of a nice studio setting that I hadn't heard in many years, myself, and he had a lot of music to sift through, most of it more in the rock domain than what I normally do.
He found 4 songs, and we added it onto what you'll hear on Side A - which is 4 tracks I did just acoustic guitar and vocals on at my friend Eric Mire's studio when he was living in Milwaukee, in 2010 - and, essentially, you are hearing my progression as a songwriter / singer in reverse / 2010 - 2003 ! So, there is a whole lot of influences in there. I can say that Joni Mitchell and Jimi Hendrix are 2 very big influences, along with Bob Dylan, Radiohead, Jeff Buckley, Nick Drake and Nina Simone.
I was also a creative writing major around that time, and often used scraps unused in poetry and other writing courses, and then combined it with things that were going on personally at those times. I've always been more into jazz, quite honestly, and still really like it the best, so that's why the list of songwriting influences is fairly typical / not really anyone all-that-obscure on the list.
I guess what I can say is that Side A is a polished / intimate version of songs that I wrote a very long time ago, and that Side B is me basically having fun being in a real studio for the first time and trying out a lot of things vocally and guitar-wise.
I'm glad to be able to release some of this work, as raw as some of it is emotionally and also vocally, I really had fun recording all of this music.
Thank you for listening !"
- Aja "Jess" Lemont
released December 10, 2014
Jess wrote music & lyrics & all parts were played and sung by her.
Side 1 recorded in 2010 by Eric Mire at Hyperdrive Motivator, Milwaukee, WI, USA.
Side 2 recorded in 2005 (1), 2004 (2, 3) & 2003 (4) by Alexander Boyes at Transit Recording Studio, Milwaukee, WI, USA
1 The Rocket Song
2 Blue Shadow
3 I Don't Sleep
1 No Cipher
2 She Has What You Shall Ruin
3 Don't Race Ahead
4 Swim (original version)