Desire

by Jess Chambers

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about

'Desire' Album Review by Graham Reid
www.elsewhere.co.nz/music/4461/jess-chambers-desire-chambers/

"Right at the end of this hushed album, singer-songwriter Chambers adapts the old gospel-country hand-clap This Little Light of Mine into something very different. She takes it right down to an intimate whisper over piano (Peter Hill) and guitar. It sounds like it has been recorded in the empty front parlour of an abandoned home where there are dust-covered family photos on the wall."

"The way she sings the few spare words is extraordinary. She imbues them with a painful history which suggested a bruised past she is coming out of. "One piece of paradise, I'm going to make it mine", she sings in a voice which ever so subtly contains a hint that the promise of peace will be within her grasp.
At four minutes long you'd think it would outstay its welcome, but her voice is so freighted with feeling you are engrossed."

"And on the eight songs before this Chambers confirms her reputation as a singer of remarkable interpretive powers and a writer who brings insight and refinement to her lyrics. She opens with the title track which has that same sense of historic sadness that she pulls into Let It Shine: "It's a heaviness this heart of mine, I'm packing it in, gonna leave it behind, keeps giving me trouble, keeps falling in love . . . I'm gonna be stoney, gonna be cold . . ." It fades with "Who needs a heart, it just makes you cry."

"Yet it is that same heart which is there in what follows (Little Heart with "can't you set your hopes a little closer to the ground"). In the more edgy Full of Fire -- with moving backing vocals by Holly Beals - she offers hope and her battered wisdom to someone equally hurt by love with "if you're lonely . . . . say my name . . . hold on to me".

"These are emotionally affecting songs made more powerful by their vocal and musical understatement. The instrumentation is spare throughout, the songs have dark corners but a strong thread of empathy (My Shadow is My Shade with it classic chord changes, Only Your Arms) because the singer suggests she has been there too. (Haight St where she offers "when we're sleeping spine to spine we could light up the night, it's a shame my heart already has a home.")

"And a highpoint among many is the string-elevated Hopeful Dreamer which is imbued with a spirit of hope, redemption and optimism: "If you are sending out a call give it all you've got . . .you are a little flame, not a big mistake." And to follow that with Let It Shine lifts the final third of this album onto another, higher plane.
Subtle production, understated arrangements, heart-touching lyrics, and rare delivery which invites you in close.

Jess Chambers' light really does shine."

credits

released September 26, 2011

Album Produced by Jess Chambers
Recorded and Engineered by Lee Prebble at The Surgery Studios in Wellington, NZ
Mastered by Don Bartley at Benchmark Mastering , Sydney, AUS
Album design/concept by Creature.co.nz
Photography by Steven Boniface
Image work by Geoff Francis
All songs written by Jess Chambers except, Desire, Little Heart, Full of Fire, My Shadow is My Shade and Reckless, co-written by Jess Chambers and Peter Hill
Let it Shine contains elements of the traditional This little light of mine

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Jess Chambers Nashville, Tennessee

New album 'Desire' a minimalist ode to love.

‘Jess Chambers' 2008 debut was full of mini-masterpieces from the depths of a haunted heart, and the follow-up is even more affecting.’ The Nelson Mail

'Like Welch and Rawlings these two had the ability, with just two instruments, to keep their audience engaged – entranced is not too strong a word – for the better part of two hours.' Karl du Fresne
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Track Name: Desire
It’s a heaviness this heart of mine
I’m packing it in gonna leave it behind
Keeps giving me trouble, keeps falling in love
I’m tired of crying so I’m giving it up

Gonna climb a mountain, someplace near the top
Gonna throw my heart from the summit, come down without it
I’m gonna be stoney, I’m gonna be cold
I swear I will never care for another living soul

Gonna kill this desire, bury it alive
Who needs a heart, a heart just makes you cry
Just makes you cry

I’m cutting my ties gonna run
I’m catching a train tonight, leave no notes for anyone.
I’ll never be achy, I’ll never be blue
I will spend my days never thinking ‘bout you

Gonna kill this desire, bury it alive
A heart just makes you cry
Gonna kill this desire, still this heart of mine
Who needs a heart, a heart just makes you cry, just makes you cry
Track Name: Little Heart
I can barely sing my song waiting for my heart to settle down, come on heart, be kind to me
Cant you set your hope a little closer to the ground, why you got to wish for something so heavenly
I’ve been looking to the sky through teary eyes, thinking ‘bout what might have been
I’ve been staring heart ache square in the eye, knowing soon I will overcome

It’s gloriously clear, all my fear is just a shadow on my mind
It’s gloriously clear above my tears the sun still shines

I’ve been taking inventory of all my worries feeling shaky and all shook up
They’ve been piling up on me so high I could not see, eventually I’m gonna feel alright
My heart and me been thinking bout the end of things, come on heart that’s no way to be
All our gloomy mornings fade into one long grey day, come on heart let some loving in

O little heart of mine, It’s just a matter of time hold on with me now
O we’ve been here before and we made it through it’s not as bad as it seems
...above our tears the sun .....still shines
Track Name: Full of Fire
If youʼre lost thereʼs a trail through the night
Donʼt give up the ghost, donʼt give up the fight. Donʼt let go
If youʼre lonely, the dayʼs too long and solitary
Youʼre out on a limb, you ainʼt got nobody. Say my name

Cause Iʼve seen you full of fire
Blazing a trail across the water
If youʼre thinking you might be sinking
I tell you I know it isnʼt so. Hold on to me

If youʼve gambled it all like thereʼs no tomorrow
In the light of day youʼll be glad hope had her way. Donʼt give in

If youʼre hurting, I know hearts can heal
Iʼm living proof, I know how you feel. Donʼt look back

Oh a heart is a fragile thing
Youʼve got to read the signs, got to know what they mean
Careless love is a dangerous game
You canʼt escape unscathed you can only redeem what youʼve got

Cause Iʼve seen you full of fire
Blazing a trail across the water
If youʼre thinking you might be sinking
I tell you I know it isnʼt so. Hold on to me
Track Name: My Shadow is My Shade
Ever since I saw you Iʼve never been the same
Iʼm telling you I knew you before I heard your name
Youʼre just like my shadow I never knew I had
Always walking with me, always got my back

And Iʼve been walking miles weathering the rain
Trudging through a badland* biting back the pain
Before I found my shadow , before I found some shade
Before I found my lover, before I knew his name

If I stumble donʼt get me wrong
I might get spooked sometimes
Getting used to having you round
Having you round, having you round

Ever since I saw you Iʼve never been the same
Iʼm telling you I knew you before I heard your name
Iʼd been talking to ya , talking in my sleep
Telling you my secrets, telling you everything
Now I have no secrets , but now I know your name
And I ainʼt scared of nothing
My Shadow is my shade
Track Name: Only Your Arms
I stand down by the water I see a new day is born
And youʼre calling to me from across the sea
And I hear it in my soul

It feels like an ache I donʼt want it to go
Youʼre breathing life into these dry bones
Donʼt go, silence kills the heart slow

And only your arms can save me
Oh my baby, commune with me now

Iʼm here at the edge, I will throw myself in
Sink beneath the crystal skin of the sea
Tranquility waits for me

And only your arms can save me
Oh my baby, commune with me now
Track Name: Haight St.
Neon light down on Haight, rain shining up the street
Thereʼs a body on the sidewalk asleep
Iʼm stepping out, every night the city holds me
blinks her lights, tries to tell me you are here

I could stand to spend some time alone, bare my thoughts back to the bone
What you feel is real can sometimes change
When weʼre sleeping back to back donʼt move donʼt wake up
If you do we will be fighting fire with flame

Dream-like old fashioned film, 35 mil in my mind
your face washed out, flared in sunshine
Man donʼt wait around, light a smoke try to call me
you could never really know me, Iʼm not the same

You could stand to spend some time alone, give your thoughts room to roam
thereʼs nothing like being free and on the road
When weʼre sleeping spine to spine we could light up the night
Itʼs a shame my heart already has a home

I could stand to spend some time alone give my thoughts room to roam
Thereʼs nothing like being free and on the road
When weʼre sleeping spine to spine we could light up the night
Its a shame my heart already has a home

What you feel is real can change
Track Name: Reckless
Darling please donʼt blame my reckless heart
Iʼm still true, Iʼm still true
Baby Iʼve been looking long and hard at what we got
Gonna make this all up to you

Darling darling what more can I say
I was a fool, I almost let you slip away
Oh baby I let all the bright lights turn my head
those rising stars theyʼll never be half the man you are

Thereʼs just one place that I wanna be
Back in your arms, your true love is heavenly
If you go, I will be haunted by our love, donʼt want to lose this love
Wanna make this all up to you
If you knew what Iʼve been fighting, would you go on
Would you keep making a wild thing out of me
Donʼt blame my reckless heart
Iʼm still true, Iʼm still true
Donʼt blame my reckless heart Iʼm still true, Iʼm still true
Track Name: Hopeful Dreamer
If Iʼm looking for a sign
I just dream of the open sky
Ancient dust burning by
Spinning my head with what it says

To every hopeful dreamer
Sending prayers into the ether
All the wishes ever whispered to the night
If youʼre sending out a call

Give it all youʼve got,
Donʼt let the naysayers say whatʼs what
Call it luck or fate,
You are our little flame, not a big mistake

I was hoping youʼd be home
Dropped by when the light was on
If Iʼm ever feeling lost or alone
I think of your arms and what you said
Track Name: Let it Shine
This little light of mine
I’m gonna let it shine
This little light of mine
I’m gonna let it shine
This little light of mine
I’m gonna let it shine

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine
One piece of paradise
I’m gonna make it mine
One piece of paradise
I’m gonna make it mine
One piece of paradise
Honey we’ll be fine
Just fine, just fine, fine