Simple Songs

JESSA

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Debut full-length album by JESSA (Sept 11, 2020 release). Digital Download.

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Fukue's Theme Part I

Jessica Stuart

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Fukue's Theme Part I

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"Fukue's Theme Part I" (RedLeaf Music, Dec 7, 2018) plays through the end credits of viral CBC documentary "Finding Fukue", and served as the starting point for Jessica Stuart's original underscoring of the film.

The song was inspired by a recurring dream that Fukue had since childhood about herself and Jessica in the rice paddies of Saku City, Japan, and Jessica's search for Fukue several decades later.

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The Passage

The Jessica Stuart Few

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The Jessica Stuart Few's third full-length album with 12 songs including covers of Little Dragon and Rihanna.

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Two Sides To Every Story

The Jessica Stuart Few

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“Amazingly charming,” – Don Ross, Canadian guitar icon

“The best of both folk and jazz,” - AOL Spinner “The Jessica Stuart Few’s playful indie rock could be one of the most charming takes on the genre to come along in some time.” – Canadian Musician Magazine

You wouldn’t expect it from a white girl who grew up in Vancouver, but the Japanese ‘koto’ is in Jessica’s blood. Growing up in a household with a koto master for a mother, Stuart also lived in Japan as a child, and came upon the traditional 13-stringed floor harp honestly, taking lessons with her mother’s sensei. Now, following extensive Canadian touring plans in support of their new release Two Sides to Every Story (March 12, 2013), Jessica and The `Few will head abroad for their first tour of Japan in fall 2013.

Jessica Stuart’s deep musical history and love of guitar heavy rock and soul music are put on equal footing with the Canadian singer-songwriter tradition. On Two Sides to Every Story, Stuart exhibits a pitch-perfect vocal sensibility strikingly reminiscent of Joni Mitchell, with stunning harmonies proudly laid free of auto-tune. Her innovative take on the Japanese koto, and her exceptional guitar work are both inspired. Performing and recording alongside Dan Fortin on double bass (Serena Rider, Bernice) and Tony Nesbitt-Larking on drums (The Most Serene Republic, Tanika Charles), Stuart and her long-time band mates are all vital players in Toronto’s indie music community. The ‘Few’s instrumentation is one-of-a-kind, and Stuart’s approach to songwriting is fresh, taking influence from folk, soul, rock and jazz, while creating a distinctive new sound that has earned the trio main stage performances at some of Canada’s top festivals (North By Northeast, Canadian Music Week, TD Toronto Jazz Festival, Islands Folk Festival, Vancouver Chutzpah! Festival, to name a few). The band also received two 2012 Toronto Independent Music Award nominations (Best Live Performance, Best Recording), and continues to enjoy their songs and videos in regular rotation on CBC Radio and Bravo! TV.

Produced by Jessica and long-time collaborator Mischa Chillak (K-OS, Herb Alpert), and mixed by Ian Bodzasi (Sam Roberts, Hey Rosetta), Two Sides to Every Story was recorded almost entirely live-off-the-floor, capturing the warm sound and charismatic energy of the band’s live shows. The album transports the listener – it’s storytelling set to music that takes surprising turns, all the while maintaining sing-along hooks and harmonies that you can’t forget. Aesthetically, this album is part of an ongoing collaboration between Jessica and noted Japanese-Canadian visual artist, Takashi Iwasaki, whose playful original artwork on the recording’s packaging is the perfect visual accompaniment to the listening experience. The two have developed a routine of sharing their art and music back and forth, inspiring each other’s projects, and fittingly, this album also features an art insert coupling Takashi’s images with Jessica’s words.

On March 12, 2013, ‘The Few’ launched their sophomore album, Two Sides To Every Story, the long-awaited follow-up to their critically acclaimed 2010 debut, Kid Dream. Musically innovative and lyrically refreshing, it also features a brilliant koto rendition of the EurythmicsHere Comes the Rain`. The album muses with the theme of dichotomies; work vs. play, right vs. wrong. Lead single ,’Don’t Ya’ was already chosen as a Song Of The Week by CBC Radio One, and called “the perfect 3-minute pop song” by music critic, Errol Nazareth. Check out the first two singles and their accompanying music videos, ‘Don’t Ya’ and ‘Winter Warm’.

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Kid Dream

The Jessica Stuart Few

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Toronto’s Jessica Stuart has hit her groove – while the surging rhythms are clearly rooted in the improvisational give-and-take of modern jazz and progressive folk, suffice it to say, you’ve never heard anything quite like The Jessica Stuart Few.

A uniquely gifted guitarist equally adept on koto (a 13-string traditional Japanese floor harp), Stuart cites as influences Stereolab, Led Zeppelin (really), Stevie Wonder, and Joni Mitchell. Those choices may initially seem difficult to reconcile if not completely incongruous, but that’s probably why Stuart currently performs in five other bands at last count, when not singing with either of her two choirs. Evidently, it’s all been leading up to The Jessica Stuart Few’s totally enchanting Kid Dream album.

Deftly produced and mixed by Stuart in conjunction with Oddities mainman Mischa Chillak, best known for his sophisticated beatwise work with underground hip-hop heroes Notes To Self (BBE Records) and K-OS, Kid Dream is much more than just a revealing document of Stuart’s three-year creative collaboration with Charlie Haden-inspired double bass ace Dan Fortin (Serena Ryder) and propulsive percussionist Nico Dann (Tuneyards), it represents the sum total of everything she’s gleaned since growing up in Vancouver.

The engaging 11-song expedition brings together the diverse cultural experiences of Stuart’s time in Japan, Israel and Australia as well her various moonlighting musical ventures while showcasing her formidable string-slinger chops and compositional skills. All that and Jessica still manages to squeeze in a whimsical homage to her favourite Moog motivators Stereolab with the delightful Aerobelts, complete with other-worldly vibraphonic chiming, handclapping and an a cappella vocal breakdown for good measure.

No less catchy is the floor-filling jazz funk joint White Rice, Brown Sugar whose sweet Hammond organ runs will definitely have heads nodding. Likewise, the album’s title track Kid Dream features the absolute coolest use of koto, with Stuart plucking out the catchy melodic hook to this reggae-inspired fantasy song. The songs So Slow and (Don’t Live Just For The) Weekend show that Stuart also has a knack for slyly sneaking meaningful messages into what might appear to be breezy pop tunes. The underlying theme in all of Stuart’s uplifting music on Kid Dream is that it’s important to make the most of every moment. If her crazy tour schedule is any indication, she’s taken the wise adage to heart.

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