If youâ€™re a TV buff, you may well have already heard Jenn Grant’s music. Her songs have been featured on several series like Greyâ€™s Anatomy, Mercy, Shattered and Heartland. This Canadian songwriter and East Coast Music Award winner made her official musical debut with Orchestra for the Moon in 2007, and since then, has toured North America and Europe alongside artists like Barenaked Ladies, Hawksley Workman and Hayden. Her sophomore release, Echoes (2009), spent time atop CBC Radio chart while she was busy performing with Symphony Nova Scotia and headlining the Cultural Olympiad Canadian Tour.
Your album title, Honeymoon Punch, connotes romance and sweetness as well as toughness and spunk â€“ where did it come from?
It was just one of those things that came to me. I donâ€™t really know where it came from; itâ€™s like it just named itself. Everything about this album has felt like itâ€™s on a star-guided carpet in front of me. Itâ€™s so fun! But romance, spunkâ€¦thatâ€™s exactly what I wanted to portray.
Your bio references Nancy Sinatra. Is she an inspiration or did it just somehow come out in the sound?
A bit of both. I do love Nancy Sinatraâ€™s These Boots Are Made for Walking and feel she represents a sexy confidence and mystery that I find intriguing. My favourite artists that went into inspiring this album are Phoenix, Camera Obscura, and Sigur RĂłs. I was also inspired by Laura Veirs’ July Flame album and Beach Houseâ€™s Teen Dream.
Certain lyrics seem very specific: “We’ll drink Blavod in the kitchen by the fireâ€¦” in Paradise Mountain and the description of the loverâ€™s quarrel in Parliament of Owls. Do you cite personal experiences?
I do. Most of my writing stems my personal life. My friend Tara loves Blavod and we did drink it in the kitchen. Sometimes I sneak things in…itâ€™s like little homages to people.
Do you have moments of insecurity or self-consciousness when performing?
Yes. Iâ€™ve cried once or twice and it feels overwhelming and disarmingâ€¦but thatâ€™s the beauty in it!
You just made a video for Getcha Good. What was that like?
I always want to be as expressive as possible with whatever I have in my pocket. I donâ€™t have a lot of money, so itâ€™s essential to be creative and use whatever resources I can. For the video, we had 45 people working, sewing and dancing for free. My brother, Daniel, is a cinematographer in Toronto and was around for the shoot, generally helping out. We talked about the video this morning and he said, â€śThe production value comes from all the heart that people put into it.â€ť
Your last album, Echoes, came out in 2009 â€“ how long since then have you been working on Honeymoon Punch?
I started writing about a year ago. But Dan Ledwell â€“ my producer and fiancĂ© â€“ and I really started looking at the songs last April. I wanted this album to be rockier, loud and crisp but still sound warm; something people could dance to, like Phoenixâ€™s Amadeus Wolfgang. Danny and I share so much in musical taste that he was able to get the drums and everything else sounding just the way we wanted.
What are the easiest and the most difficult aspects of the songwriting process for you?
The vocal melody is easiest. The most difficult part is keeping it challenging and fun for myself. If youâ€™re not challenged, then itâ€™s too easy and itâ€™s not going to be good.
How does it feel to have your music featured on mainstream TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy?
Itâ€™s great. I love being the soundtrack to a story and I love TV! Well, I donâ€™t have a TV, but there are lots of shows I dream of being on. Like House. Actually, Paradise Mountain was partially written because I had just discovered Bon Iverâ€™s song Re: Stacks and was watching an episode of House called Wilsonâ€™s Heart. Something very, very sad happened and they played Re: Stacksâ€¦I was a mess for days!
The CD release concert for Honeymoon Punch will take place January 29 at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium in Halifax as part of the In the Dead of Winter Festival. In February, Jenn will be a part of the Barenaked Ladiesâ€™ Ships and Dip 4 cruise. Her 2011 tour dates can be found on www.jenngrant.com.