Lesley Kernochan | A Calm Sun

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Country: Americana Folk: Singer/Songwriter Moods: Type: Acoustic
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A Calm Sun

by Lesley Kernochan

With the extraordinary and revelatory "A Calm Sun", her first full-length Americana album, Kernochan fully embraces the singer-songwriter aesthetic with a collection that's delightfully off-center, undeniably straightforward and completely irresistible.
Genre: Country: Americana
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Les petits mondes sont partout
2:50 $0.99
2. Country in the City
3:12 $0.99
3. Hurricane Eye
3:06 $0.99
4. Tumbleweed
3:24 $0.99
5. A Calm Sun
3:29 $0.99
6. Blown Away
3:22 $0.99
7. The Universe
3:39 $0.99
8. Love Is a Verb
4:51 $0.99
9. The Chocolate Tree
4:13 $0.99
10. Wherever I Go
3:21 $0.99
11. Loving Family
2:50 $0.99
12. Song for Elijah
3:44 $0.99
13. Old Fisherman's Song
3:37 $0.99
14. A Face in the Mountain
3:19 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The Band
Lesley Kernochan – singing, acoustic guitars
Dean Parks – acoustic & electric guitars, pedal steel, banjo, dobro, ukelele…(tracks 1,2,4,5,7,8,11,13)
Christopher Bruce – acoustic & electric guitars (tracks 3,6,9,10,12,14)
Jeff Babko – piano, organ, wurlizer
Dan Lutz – acoustic bass
Aaron Sterling – drums, percussion
Ben Peeler – dobro, lap steel, pedal steel, mandolin… (tracks 3,6,9,10,12)
Alisa Rose – fiddle (track 8)
Tom Rhodes – harmony singing (tracks 2,4,13)
Robert Rex Waller Jr. – bass harmony singing (track 4)

The Engineers
Tracks 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 11, 13 recorded by Jeremy Miller, John Schimpf, and Peter Labberton
at EastWest Studios (Studio 2) in Hollywood, CA
Tracks 3, 6, 9, 10, 12, 14 recorded by Scott Jacoby, Matt Dyson, and Joey Vitas
at The Village in Los Angeles, CA
Vocals Recorded at The Village and at Eusonia Studios with Scott Jacoby
Album Mixed by Scott Jacoby at Eusonia Studios in New York, NY
Additional Engineering by Jack Dine, Easton Morang, Scott Bergstrom, and Gabriel Shepard
Mastering by Emily Lazar at The Lodge in New York, NY
Mastering Assisted by Chris Allgood
Song Order by Rick Ellis

Album Photography by Shervin Lainez
(recording studio shots by the band)
Graphic Design by Mike Tallman

All Songs written by Lesley Kernochan
Album Produced by John Schimpf, Scott Jacoby, and Lesley Kernochan
A Calm Sun, copyright 2017

"★★★★" – Rolling Stone Germany

With a back catalogue that includes an a cappella album (Undulating), an indie jazz-rock-cabaret LP (The Pickle Jar), and a children's record (the Parent's Choice Gold-Award-winning album A Day in the Life of a Boogaleeboo), Lesley Kernochan is nothing if not totally unpredictable. Actually, however, one element of her eclectic artistry is utterly predictable: that each project is imbued with an earnest inquiry for the truth of the moment. Now, with the extraordinary and revelatory A Calm Sun, her first full-length Americana album, Kernochan fully embraces the singer-songwriter aesthetic with a collection that's delightfully off-center, undeniably straightforward and completely irresistible.

On A Calm Sun, the Santa Monica-born songstress works with a small group of acclaimed musicians, including Dean Parks on guitar (Steely Dan, Michael Jackson, among countless others) and Aaron Sterling on drums (Kris Kristofferson, the Civil Wars and many more). A chance encounter between Kernochan and producer John Schimpf in a Boulder, Colorado café led her to confess to having a secret stash of songs that felt too uncomfortably simple and vulnerable to share. After getting together to record a solo demo of the songs, Schimpf reached out to his friend and bass player Dan Lutz in Los Angeles, who put the band together. "The blessings just kept on coming," Kernochan notes, adding that those opportunities felt directly related to incorporating meditation, prayer, and gratitude into each day.

At the core of the 14 uniquely crafted tunes are warm, intimate vocals and a gift for kaleidoscopic turns of phrase. That's evident from the outset in album opener "Les petits mondes sont partout (The Little Worlds Are Everywhere") with its fanciful line: "Zipper talks to the Velcro, 'Hey, man, we're kind of alike, we both have lots of little arms that wrap around each other tight.'" Kernochan describes this Amélie-esque song as "a surrealist painting of the common magic happening on every corner, in every crevice."

Elsewhere, she takes responsibility for her own confusion that lands her "in the doghouse once again" in the otherwise upbeat "Hurricane Eye," a song that travels to the necessary wisdom via a baby blue-eyed octopus and a Truth Caboose.

"Tumbleweed," written on the beach in her hometown of Santa Monica, California, moves likes an old Elvis ballad performed at a late-night campfire sing-along and tenderly captures the discovery of self-love and a sense of home. This nostalgia for home is also at the center of "Wherever I Go," with a keening steel guitar and poignant lyrics lamenting sparkling rivers and lonesome pines, supplanted by streets full of taxicabs and sirens. Still, even if the welcome sight of pink, plump blossoms from her city apartment window didn't conjure such country comforts, Kernochan's voice, an instrument that is delicate, yet also beautifully self-assured, would do that job just fine.

A hallmark of Kernochan's work, no matter which genre she's working in, is the uncanny ability to travel the wide ranges of human experience and return with a small, glistening gem. One poignant example of this is on "The Universe" a devastatingly gorgeous meditation in which the specter of her own depression is shattered by the simple gift of song. "I started to sing the words I needed to hear for me to calm down," she says of the song written in the middle of the night in an Asheville, North Carolina, motel room. "And as I did that, I began to feel peace pour into me again."

A closer look into the repertoire on A Calm Sun reveals many conversations with music itself, or the Muse, including "Love Is a Verb" and "Old Fisherman's Song." "I learned along the way to treat music like any other relationship in life; in order for it to thrive we must treat each other with respect and honesty," she says.
As eclectic as her present work is, Kernochan's musical past was as equally varied, beginning with studying piano at age 7, then turning to alto saxophone at 11 years old. Throughout grade school she played jazz and classical sax voraciously, winning many Kiwanis competitions, in addition to being in choir and madrigal groups. Heading to Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, she earned a B.A. in Music Composition, and also took up the musical saw as a way to move forward after her first big heartbreak.

After college, Kernochan began to focus more on her voice and trained operatically for three years as a natural coloratura. She joined myriad bands including March Fourth (a funky, Burning Man/Mardi Gras-eque marching band), Vagabond Opera (a World Music operatic cabaret show), and Xevi Nova (a Brazilian jazz group), and produced her first two albums of original music. Kernochan then opted for a big change, and moved to Boulder for five years, writing for her children's music group, Lesley & the Flying Foxes, as a direct response to her work as a nanny.

At the age of 30, New York City beckoned, and provided the rich bedrock from which she built A Calm Sun. "I found myself having a huge crush on country music while living in Brooklyn, after discovering a live honky tonk bar called Skinny Dennis. Something about this music energizes and comforts me all in one, which was just what I needed in the big, sometimes overwhelming city," she explains. One listen to A Calm Sun is enough to know that this "crush" has opened Kernochan up to expressions that are both thrillingly unusual and wholly relatable.

A Calm Sun is the simple, heart-piercing latest chapter in an already exceptional musical story, a journey as unpredictable as her musical bliss is infectious.



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