"Imagine a singer/songwriter whose songs are as lyrically rich, personal and poetic as Joni Mitchell's, while at the same time as ridiculously catchy as Cat Stevens. Now imagine the songs sung by a woman whose voice is sorta like Sarah McLachlan's, only it's both more powerful and more playful." -Creative Loafing
"Darkly romantic, hot and humid, haunted and gothic. This is music that seems to have grown slowly from some rich, dark soil." -Performing Songwriter
"Jennifer Daniels champions the elementary emotional characteristics of singer/songwriter folk-rock and pushes the genre forward with a sound that is contemporary and commercially accessible" -Tom Semioli
At A Glance
? Fists of Flood - Top 12 DIY Album - Performing Songwriter
? Dive & Fly - Top 12 DIY Album - Performing Songwriter
? Summer Filled Sky - Album of the Year - FM Odyssey
? Best New Female Artist - FM Odyssey
? Best Female Vocalist - CIA Music Awards
? 1st Place Winner - Eddie's Attic Open-Mic Shootout
? WTBS - TBS Storyline
? Laney Goodman's Women On Air
? WoodSongs Olde-Time Radio Hour
? WAGA - Good Day Atlanta
What People Are Saying
"Darkly romantic, hot and humid, haunted and gothic. This is music that seems to have grown slowly from some rich, dark soil."
The Performing Songwriter
Top 12 DIY Releases - "Fists of Flood"
"...a sound that wanders from alt-country to haunting folk rock delivering her poetry with an urgency to match it's message."
Josh Jackson - Paste Magazine
"Jennifer Daniels' voice has an unexplainable otherworldliness about it. It's dreamy and full of quiet comfort. Simply Irresistible!"
Mish Mash Music
"Folk-rock songstress Jennifer Daniels exudes a persona that is equally gutsy and sensitive, penning confessional tales and attaching them to memorable melodies and rich arrangements."
Tom Semioli - All Music Guide
"Imagine a singer/songwriter whose songs are as lyrically rich, personal and poetic as Joni Mitchell's, while at the same time as ridiculously catchy as Cat Stevens. Now imagine the songs sung by a woman whose voice is sorta like Sarah McLachlan's, only it's both more powerful and more playful."
"Daniels flirts with rock, pop and anything else that comes into her musical path. The result is pretty damn great."
The Performing Songwriter
Top 12 DIY Releases - "Dive & Fly"
Three incessantly busy interstate highways wrap around the foot of Lookout Mountain, a high ridge straddling Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama. But tucked into the coves, bluffs and hollers above the freeways are hairpin roads, dirt paths, hidden waterfalls and stunning valley views. Mountain native Jennifer Daniels claims this territory as her own, despite traversing the interstates to make a living. As she puts it, "I sometimes think of my songs as vertical."
For 10 years now, the singer/songwriter has chosen a narrow, winding, mountain road less traveled than the broad highway frequented by homogenized pop superstars, cluttering the radio with disposable hooks and disingenuous, secondhand sentiment. For her, "part of the music is figuring life out. I can't help but feel I have some Bohemian blood in me, searching for truth and beauty and love. You can't serve the master of fame and fortune and the master of truth and beauty--no path exists for following both."
Alongside husband Jeff Neal, who contributes tasteful guitar and mandolin support, Daniels first caught the attention of music fans in live settings--beginning in 1999--with her supple, dynamic voice and physical, absorbing delivery. It began in time-honored, grassroots fashion, with gigs in Chattanooga, Tennessee--just down the mountain from home--then short forays around the southeastern U.S. and then regular hauls up and down the East Coast and, finally, jaunts across the country, with as many as 200 dates each year.
On the road for long stretches, Daniels made Decatur, Ga's legendary Eddie's Attic--an acoustic-music listening room known for launching the careers of everyone from the Indigo Girls to Shawn Mullins--her home away from home. During this period Daniels was a regular contestant at the venue's "Open Mic Shoot-Out" contests. On one particular night, she made it to the final, but fell just short of the top prize, edged out by a young upstart named John Mayer. Daniels won the contest later, topping another notable singer/songwriter, Zac Brown (whose Zac Brown Band now is blowing the doors off country radio) to do it.
Her stage reputation established, Daniels began establishing herself as a recording artist, independently releasing her 2000 debut, Fists of Flood, to raves in Performing Songwriter, which named it a Top 12 DIY Release for the year and said, "This is music that seems to have grown slowly from some rich, dark soil."
Now, four studio albums and one live album later, Daniels has recorded her most ambitious effort, Come Undone, a song cycle in three acts. Producer Scott Smith went for a fuller approach, with strings, electronics, a choir and a pipe organ at various moments, depending on what seemed appropriate.
"There was a whole new level of artistry, so we felt the production's depth should fit the project," Smith says. "The orchestration and sonic choices were a natural fit not only for the songs, but for framing Jennifer's voice in a way it hasn't yet been heard. The complexity of her voice--both lyrically and melodically --works amazingly well stripped down, with two guitars. So the challenge was to add to this while still retaining the intimacy of her message. There's plenty of ear candy for anyone who wants to listen for it, yet those in love with Jen's voice and the songs won't be distracted."
Full Bio http://www.sonicbids.com/jenniferdaniels
About The Album - Come Undone
Selah. It's a word from Hebrew, found throughout the Psalms and nearly untranslatable--but with meanings that encompass a pause, a moment of reflection, a break in the action for contemplation and thought. Interestingly, the word's root denotes connection and, in its Arabic derivation, even refers to prayer. Like "love," it's a word one could spend a lifetime unpacking.
"Selah" pops up twice in Jennifer Daniels' Come Undone, not only as titles for instrumentals, but also to indicate moments to take stock of the songs that just have been sung, and to prepare for the next song cycle.
A "selah moment" also cropped up in Daniels' life, as she and husband Jeff Neal recently paused to take stock of their marriage and independent music career, both a decade old at that point. It was in that moment that the album Come Undone was conceived--along with something else neither of them were expecting.
As Daniels recalls:
We were feeling nostalgic, looking back over the ground we'd covered, and looking forward to what might lie ahead. In April 2008 we set aside two weeks to free ourselves from other distractions, and to put some effort into seeking guidance for the future of our music and our family.
From that time, we decided to go ahead with plans for the new album, and to ask Scott Smith, a long-time friend and amazing musician, to be producer and engineer. Meanwhile, unannounced to us, two little embryos began to form inside of me, as if in direct answer to our prayers for what path to take.
Being in a place in her personal life that had her thinking bigger, grander thoughts than may otherwise have been the norm, the album began to take on an epic scope as well.
I'd acquired a blank journal back in January and as I wrote down thoughts and lyrics, thinking through the theme of the album as a whole, I realized that the songs could be divided into three chapters, forming one story. I wanted to mark those chapters somehow, so we created the musical interludes to bridge them, and we entitled those interludes "Selah I" and "Selah II."
It was all very Shakespearean--like watching one of his plays-within-a-play--the way the art of the album mirrored what was happening in our lives at the time. As we were in the midst of our own "selah" we were working out the structure of the new album, and composing literal selahs for it.
About The Structure
I like to think of the first chapter as the blind enthusiasm of good hopes and dreams. The second chapter plunges the listener into the devastation of those dreams: death, divorce--any of the disorienting, disillusioning realities that rend us And the third-chapter songs are snapshots of things that have reoriented and comforted me during some of those very dark times.
About The Title
The title, Come Undone, is an invitation to allow the weight of disappointment to strip you of things that can be taken away--in order to find the stabilizing force of what cannot.
About The Songwriting
The reason that the songs on this album are written in a more direct, first person voice, is that I couldn't help using my creative time to work through some of the trauma I've experienced. In doing that I found that a lot of the songs ended up being songs of hope and gratitude for gifts I've been given, such as the joy of love that gets stronger even as our bodies decline ("Every Single Day"), the enormity of the mountain that makes me feel small and my problems less important ("Follow Me"), the hope of life after death ("My Lover's Ghost") and the relief that I don't have to be worthy of worship, but can relax and worship the one who is ("All the Glory.")
In sum, this isn't bubblegum pop music, made to burble from your radio speakers one day and be forgotten the next. Instead, through the thought, care and craft that went into its creation, Daniels hopes the album she's delivered is at least somewhat as meaningful, resonant and lasting as the beautiful twins she delivered at nearly the same time.
Sarah McLachlan, Indigo Girls, Jewel, Sheryl Crow