Published Sep 22, 2014Jazzy musical adventurist Elizabeth Shepherd returns with her fifth studio album The Signal on September 30, but Exclaim.ca has you covered with an advanced listen.
The Canadian songstress is often credited alongside Esperanza Spalding, Robert Glasper and Jose James with bringing jazz to a new generation of music fans, while pushing the limits of what jazz is supposed to be. As a recent press release puts it, the musicians she worked with on her latest record are a group "committed to uncompromising and playful exploration, unafraid of falling between the genre cracks."
Shepherd's songwriting on The Signal embraces womanhood and covers everything from becoming a mother to dabbling in witchcraft, with the lyrics delivered in a sensual, breathy croon.
"I feel that this album is giving voice to my own strength as a woman," said Shepherd, speaking about the inspiration behind the songs and characters, in a statement. "Every song except one is about a woman or written from a female perspective. I believe in the sisterhood and its immense power that has yet to be fully explored. Giving birth to a daughter, I knew I had to step up my game as a woman, of what we can do, of how we can lift each other up, and this record is an extension of that realization."
In addition to embracing a feminist take on music, Shepherd also welcomed collaboration with vocalist Lionel Loueke (Herbie Hancock, Angelique Kidjo) on a couple tracks. Familiar voices also make appearances in a wide range of samples from blues legend Lead Belly to Mother Teresa. Combining soul, funk, old-school hip-hop and jazz, of course, Shepherd delivers an album that should pique everyone's interest.
Shepherd's upcoming tour dates can be found below. And although it arrives on shelves next week, you can listen to The Signal in its entirety right now in the player below.
10/02 Halifax, NS – The Music Room
10/15 Guadalajara, Mexico - Teatro Vivian Blumenthal
10/16 Puebla, Mexico - El Breve Espacio
10/17 Mexico City, Mexico - Escuela DIM
10/18 Mexico City, Mexico - Zinco
10/19 Querétaro, Mexico - TBA
10/20 Toluca, Mexico - Centro Kuxtal Dos
10/23 Minneapolis, MN - Jazz Central Studios
11/1 Montreal, QC – L'Astral
11/15 Toronto, ON – The Music Gallery
11/16 Detroit, MI - Cliff Bell's
11/17 New York, NY – Rockwood Music Hall
11/19 Montreal, QC - Mundial
11/21 Golden, BC – Golden Civic Centre
11/22 Bragg Creek, AB - Bragg Creek Performing Arts Centre
11/27 Brandon, MB – Brandon University
11/28 Winnipeg, MB – The Park Theatre
11/29 Regina, SK – The Artesian
12/02 Fernie, BC – The Arts Station
12/05 Edmonton, AB – Yardbird Suite
12/06 Saskatoon, SK – The Bassment