What’s this about beanstalks?

There is a delicate balance in being an artist who wants to stand out as obscure in a world drowning with “unique” indie music that all sounds the same and a handful of artists you those other people mimic. Nick Jaina is an exception and yet you’re not going to hear one chord of his voice on his new album. But I can assure you there is no going wrong with The Beanstalks That Have Brought Us Here Are Gone. Every track is stellar and all parties involved in the making of this record should feel so very proud. As for Nick and how he arranged everything, it is exquisite. The imagery is precise and perfect. There are moments of ethereal edge, sensational swirls of instrumental acoustics and popping trumpets combined with such ease, I just really can’t explain how great it all sounds.

The Beanstalks That Have Brought Us Here Are Gone is the new album from Nick Jaina, and an unusual one at that. Nick wrote and recorded all new songs and asked different women to come in and sing the lead vocals. Nick’s voice doesn’t appear anywhere on the album, but his sensibilities are spread throughout. He was interested to work with women who had distinct voices, the same way a choreographer would use different dancers with their own signature styles to create a cohesive work of art. Nick is one of the most briliant and gifted storytellers and songwriters working today, and this record is an incredible example of a man bringing his work to fruition in a time-honored yet wholly innovative way. That’s Nick: at once a classic and a rare, crazy diamond (Nick is not crazy).

This album’s songs were written during the songwriting period for Jaina’s previous album, A Bird in the Opera House. Each song presented a different challenge. Sometimes Nick wrote a song for a singer who didn’t resonate with the song, and the piece had to be given to someone else. Sometimes keys had to be changed or lyrics altered, and in the case of “Once But Never Again” almost every single instrument from the original recording was replaced with something else to fit the new vocals. The result is an album that is as varied as a mix tape from someone in love with you, but as cohesive as a studio album.

For more information, LISTEN TO THIS GREAT KZME PODCAST!

Track Listing:

1. When the Blind Man Rings That Bell, featuring Kaylee Cole
2. You Were So Good To Me, featuring Jolie Holland
3. Once But Never Again, featuring Luzelena Mendoza from Y La Bamba
4. Whiskey Riddle, featuring Annalisa Tornfelt from Black Prairie
5. James, featuring Johanna Kunin
6. The President of the Chess Club, featuring Amanda Spring from Point Juncture WA
7. Ortolan, featuring Myshkin
8. Missing Awhile, featuring Corrina Repp from Tu Fawning
9. Awake When I’m Sleeping, featuring Audie Darling
10. No One Gives Their Heart Away, featuring Laura Gibson

produced by Nick Jaina and Lee Howard
recorded by Lee Howard at Mystery Machine Studios in Portland, Oregon
cover art by Brooke Weeber

Stand-out Tracks

2. You Were So Good To Me, featuring Jolie Holland
6. The President of the Chess Club, featuring Amanda Spring from Point Juncture WA
9. Awake When I’m Sleeping, featuring Audie Darling
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