The onset of the wintry months begs an attitude change. It takes less energy to descend into the comfort of mulled over introspection, spending months at a time in a glassy hibernation, where chilled roads meet stale, tobacco-coated throats and new plans and people stand at bay, on the other side of the fifty degrees.
I’ve vowed not to let myself fall into the laziness that often accompanies this seasonal introversion, and Courtney Jaye is the first artist on my quest for winter, glass-half-full. With a voice that is equally pure in its sweetness as it is precise in its pitch, Jaye is a singer-songwriter who managers to mix a maturing sound with an optimistic perspective. Rather than complicate acoustic guitar lines with unnecessary texture, or chase lyrics away with the density of word choice, she remains soft and lighthearted; essentially, her music remains true.
Collaborations with a wide spectrum of artists (Bed Bridwell, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Taj Mahal), and having lived in locations from Hawaii to Nashville, Jaye picks out elements of country, folk, and a pop sensibility harkening back to a sixties California to create music that flows with us, not above us. There is no presumption to her sound, and that serves her well; it underscores the warmth in her voice and the wondrous ability to denote our human emotion. Jaye sings songs of riding out relationships until their burning point, and still expecting, faithfully and knowingly, that the end is one worth searching for.
“If I knew I had you forever and a moment, I would still look for more time,” Jaye sings on “Morning.” When winter creeps in, it’s sometimes better to look to the music that spills human expression that is visceral and pure, truthful in turbulence, but illuminated by a sun-spotted optimism.