Following the fortuitous 2020 debut album Saudade, Juni Ata will release a five-song EP entitled Some Songs on April 29th.
The EP fosters a raw, lyrical, melodic sound through the narrative life arc of singer-songwriter Jesse Daniel Edwards and a deep cast of Nashville musicians, including inspired guest appearances from Sierra Ferrell, Lauren Farrah and Madi Diaz. Listen to the first single “Someone Else’s Rising Sun” featuring Sierra Ferrell HERE.
“In five simple songs, dear curious listener, we range from the moment just before birth- where all is warmth and distant, glowing light, to the moments approaching death; from California sun to cold, dreary north Alabama winters and far-flung battlefields in distant lands,” Edwards says about Some Songs. “There is love to be sure, and that love is lost, then rediscovered but changed… then there is hope, and loss, but not so much as before. Can we ever be hurt as much as before? In the end we are glad to remember, we exult in remembering, that we are all of us standing on a tiny rock, floating on and on in the black, frigid, nothingness of outer space. And that time is short, but wondrous beyond compare.” [Read the full letter here.]
Some Songs is Edwards as the driver and a soulful, rootsy backing band as the vehicle. The outfit hits highs during the boisterous and jangly “Someone Else’s Rising Sun” with an arrangement of horns, organs and a full rhythm section, and amidst a slather of Memphis style on “California Girl” that punches with baritone sax, orchestral bells and the guitar/vocals of Jesse’s brother/singer-songwriter L.A. Edwards. The mutating cast of players pulls back to a whisper in the finale “Halfway to Huntsville” to spotlight the lead singer at centre stage, alone with his warbling voice and piano, only to sonically coalesce in the final minutes for an all-out emotional crescendo.
The EP further builds on Juni Ata’s unlikely yet inspiring storyline and repertoire. Jesse Daniel Edwards spent years writing songs with no intention of performing or recording them, while on and off the road tour managing for Lucinda Williams and Morrissey. Then, a forced hiatus and subsequent encouragement from friends led to Saudade, an emotional debut full-length of 11 songs brimming with nuance and complexity, praised by Associated Press, American Songwriter, MOJO Magazine and many others.
Juni Ata will be making a debut live performance at SXSW this year, with additional tour dates to follow in the spring and summer.