Eleven months ago, Stephen Jacques released Send Them Love. Since then he has been busy creating his new album Groove Atlantic – 0. Pulling out all the stops, Stephen raids the cabinets of Chicago’s best musicians to back him in the studio. He also taps a legend to engineer the record. Behind the board is none other than Steve Albini.
There’s a vibe to the album that feels like a back country horse ride. A humming organ sets the mood in ‘Dusty Italian Bike’ exuding that backcountry sauntering feel. Together, the climbing vocal intensity in the chorus and the electric guitar lead, carry us to the precipice. That very same electric guitar lead lends another emotive wrinkle. We are served a serene and sweet ballad with a little bit of bite.
One of the highlights from the album is the opening track ‘Dreams On Fire’. A warm ebullient brightness like the memory of basking in the sun shines throughout. The execution is extraordinary, every window contains the perfect sound. For example, the shakers, so subtle, so effective. Everything about this song is picture perfect. The cadence in which Stephen sings with swings like a pendulum. Giving us a sweet sunset sendoff is the outro guitar solo. So long, goodbye, till we meet again…
With growing older comes experience and Stephen Jacques shares his experience with us. Intimate and vulnerable at times, Groove Atlantic – 0 dives deep. I noticed a slow, upbeat tempo trade off through the first six tracks before settling in and sending us adrift. Get ready for your journey into Stephen Jacques world.