Jay Linden has a new single; check out ‘Ordinary Sunrise’
Cambridge-based folk artist Jay Linden tells a tale about life’s promise and potential perils in the melancholic title track from his upcoming album, Ordinary Sunrise.
Inspired by folk legends like Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan and Willie P. Bennett, Jay’s style on “Ordinary Sunrise” is unabashedly acoustic and folk, rooted with lyrics that leave plenty of room for listeners to stamp their own meaning in between the lines – solidifying Jay’s philosophy that a song’s meaning is in the eye of the beholder.
The result is a record brimming with melodic depth, wit, and Jay’s signature warmth.
“Ordinary Sunrise” sounds both timeless and timely, a reminder of the folk and roots records of days gone by that is clearly rooted in the present.
It’s a document of Jay Linden’s inner dialogue and perceptions of the world around him.
When working on “Ordinary Sunrise,” Jay found inspiration while rummaging through old music.
“I found a stack of audio cassettes with pieces of songs that had potential,” he said. “So, I went through them, catalogued them, and spent a bunch of time padding around the living room (listening) and playing guitar. But I wasn’t thinking, ‘How many songs do I need for an album?’ I was just making songs.”
While the title track is sure to connect with those that appreciate substance in their music, the entirety of the upcoming album, Ordinary Sunrise, paints a scene so vividly, you’d swear it’s right in front of you. Songs like ‘Boat On A River’ make it obvious Jay’s not trying to be anything other than honestly and authentically himself.
The album’s opener is “10 Dollar Show,” a sparse earworm that sets the album’s tone and ends up playing in your mind for hours after the first listen.
Plenty of songs on Ordinary Sunrise will allow the listener to go deeper should they so choose, from contemplative tracks like ‘Time Higher The Mountain” to slice-of-life tunes such as “Dreamers On A Sailing Ship.”
Produced, engineered, and mixed by Colin Linden, Jay’s brother, at Pinhead Recorders in Nashville, the album began with Jay recording over Thanksgiving weekend 2021 – the first time the brothers had seen each other in person since the pandemic shut down the US/Canada border. As Colin put it, sessions played out “like a series of candid photos, not a posed portrait… Jay singing and playing guitar, banjo, and harmonica.”
Later, Colin added some bits himself and invited a crack group of Nashville session players to give Ordinary Sunrise an extra kick. Featured artists include multi-instrumentalist Jim Hoke, bassist Johhny Dymond, drummers Gary Craig and Jerry Roe, Janice Powers on B3 and keys, and Fats Kaplin on violin.
Jay Linden’s last album release, Under The Radar, came out in 2009, following his 2006 debut, Satchel.
He has worked in the music industry in a variety of other capacities too, including as a writer for RPM Magazine, a music publicist, and an IT Architect. During the ‘80s and ‘90s, he took a lengthy break from songwriting and playing, only picking up the guitar again after quitting smoking, partly because it gave him something to do with his hands.
When he started playing again, he did so with enthusiasm, collecting and honing his chops on various instruments. From the relatively common (banjos, mandolins, dulcimers, and autoharps) to the more esoteric (the cümbü?, saz, cuatro, tres, bajo sexto, Spanish laúd, and even a tiple). He spent relatively little time playing guitar at that point, he explained, but did find time to pick up harmonica, which figures prominently on Ordinary Sunrise.
Jay Linden’s introspective new title track, “Ordinary Sunrise,” is available now.