Jamie Drake makes rainbows out of philophobia. And running away from love sometimes leads you back where you started. Drake leaves a beaming trail of hues and sparkles that just shines brighter the harder she runs in her latest single, “To My Love.”
Travel and spiritual drama is familiar territory for the producer-singer-songwriter, having grown up in the Pentecostal church with a songwriter father and moving place to place. Her debut album in 2010 “When I Was Yours” set her on a course that led to touring with Tim Robbins and his Rogues Gallery Band; performing in an off-broadway revival of the American folk song canon; songwriting collaborations with Jim James (My Morning Jacket), Mikael Jorgensen (Wilco), and Moby; and touring with Sara & Sean Watkins of Nickel Creek, J.S. Ondara, Shawn Colvin and the Lone Bellow.
All of this has finally led her back to releasing a new collection of her own songs with, in the hands of producer AJ Minette, a flair for beautiful orchestrations. Drake’s songs are many-splendored worlds mining the depths of her journey in finding her footing in love, life and keeping the faith enough to try again.
Drake tries to find a comfort zone where there might not be one on her new single, “To My Love,” which appears on her new full-length, “Everything’s Fine” (out Sept. 20 via AntiFragile). The song, she says, “was written from a position I have often responded from in relationships with others — romantic or otherwise — that of feeling uncomfortable with intimacy, of having someone love and accept me as I am, and my assuming I need to run before they do.”
Drake said that she and Minette recorded the tune early but revisited it when the album was nearly complete. “I did something I sometimes do: I told him we needed to flip it on its head,” she says. “We ended up re-recording a slew of things — ideas more derivative of pop and hip-hop rather than folk, percussive vocal harmonies, a completely different beat, and string arrangements that communicate the severity of the song’s message. There’s a magic moment that takes place in the song at 3:03 on to 3:38. I needed to vocally capture going from a vulnerable place, and crescendo into a complete vocal explosion; no big deal, right? We had already spent a long time trying to capture it that day and though AJ knows my vocal capabilities and how to push me in the right ways to get the best performance, nothing seemed to be working.
“Then we got to this particular take. Out of nowhere I felt something rise out of my body and into the microphone and it surprised us both. As I sang, I saw AJ had completely frozen in his chair as he didn’t want to do anything to disturb the moment. After we got it in the can, he slowly turned around and we both had goosebumps and wide eyes. To this day, I still don’t know where that magic came from, but I’m reminded of it every time I listen to this song.”
||| Stream: “To My Love”
||| Also: Stream “Oh Well, Oh Well” and “Redwood Tree”
||| Live: Jamie Drake will celebrate the release of her album as well as her birthday at Nichols Canyon Music on Thursday, Sept. 19. Tickets