We catch up with Canadian singer Jenn Grant before her Irish tour kicks off next week. Her JUNO nominated album Compostela was released in Ireland earlier this week.
You grew up on Prince Edward Island, how has that affected your work?
I often go back to the serene landscapes that i grew up around. Learning to swim in the ocean, camping and generally being outdoors affected me in a good way and helped to give me a positive view of the world.
You had stage fright for a while and stopped performing until your early twenties. What do you think Jenn Grant would be doing if she never got back on stage?
She would be painting large scales paintings.
You were in Belgium last week according to Instagram – where as been your favourite venue and city to play?
Oh they were all amazing. The theatres were gorgeous in every city and the last night we played in a church.
What is the best part of touring?
And what’s the worst part of going on the road?
GAS STATION FOOD.
What or who influences you?
Music inspires me. Listening to it and seeing it live… Working with my husband, being at home and playing records… Travelling, and being at home. So basically everything.
Compostela translates as ‘field of stars’ – inspired by legend that says the dust of pilgrims make up the stars that form the Milky Way. So, what’s your star sign? Or rather, what is it about that story that prompted you to start this album?
I am a Leo. Note the Star pattern in the album art, which makes up the points of a Leo star pattern.
I look to the sky for inspiration, and I went to Spain right after my mother died. When i wrote these songs, I went back to that place in my mind, and decided it deserved a spanish title.
My favourite song on the album is No One’s Gonna Love You (Quite Like I Do) – which one is yours, and why?
I don’t really have a favourite, but I’m glad that you do!
Do you think living in Nova Scotia, away from industry noise is important for your work?
Yes, definitely. Though one of my dogs was just ‘losing it’ outside.
You’re collecting a lot of accolades and nominations lately, as well as appearing on television soundtracks. How does that sort of recognition feel after years of working?
It feels necessary in order to make it work. And it feels good.
Who else should we be listening to?
War on Drugs, Jenny Lewis, Mama Kin, Jim Sullivan, Doug Paisley, Father John Misty, I could go on like this forever.
And last not-actually-a-question, we just wanted to say your dogs are adorable.
Thank you, I just told them you said that.
Jenn Grant’s Irish tour for Compostela kicks off Wednesday.
April 8th Roisin Dubh, Tickets €10
April 9th De Barras, Tickets €10 On Sale Now
April 10tth Levis, Ballydehob
April 11th Upstairs in Whelans, Tickets €12 On Sale Now
Follow Jeanne Sutton on Twitter @jeannedesutun