Acclaimed Australian singer-songwriter Jen Cloher has released her much anticipated self-titled album – her fourth.
By now you would have heard the singles – the raw and unflinching examination of Forgot Myself, and the melancholy sweep of Regional Echo – pointing towards Cloher’s unique way with a double edged lyric and serrated guitar chord. It’s certainly something critics have picked up on, with the album so far winning accolades from the likes of the Guardian, Observer, Loud and Quiet and more.
A letter in triplicate addressed to the themes of love, music and Australia, Jen Cloher is the culmination of a period of artistic and personal growth in which the artist took her rightful place as a punk-rock figurehead of Australia’s famous DIY music scene. She is an outspoken advocate for artist rights and co-founder of the incredible Milk! Records label, which includes the likes of Courtney Barnett and Fraser A. Gorman among its luminaries. Since 2013, Cloher’s output has been increasingly sharp-witted and poetic, with her last album, the critically lauded In Blood Memory representing an artistic apex for the artist and garnering her a prestigious Australian Music Prize nomination.
Released through Cloher and Barnett’s own label Milk! Records, Jen Cloher represents another quantum leap forward for the artist. Recorded amidst the rolling greenery of South-Eastern Australia and mixed at Jeff Tweedy’s famous Loft Studios in Chicago, the songs are split by Courtney Barnett’s extraordinary lead guitar and anchored by the rhythm section of Bones Sloane and Jen Sholakis. The end result is bold, assured, and piercingly observed, seeing Cloher face up to painful truths with unwavering honesty and emerge triumphant. On tracks like Analysis Paralysis and Shoegazers Cloher dissects the complacency of privilege, while on the stirring anthem-to-be Strong Woman she looks to her Maori heritage of women warriors, proud that her mother ‘wanted respect more than love’.
This is Cloher at her most incisive and witty, cutting and expressive, and represents possibly her most stunning body of work to date.
‘Her fourth and best album yet… incredible’ – The Guardian
‘Astonishingly candid… (she) tackles politics, equality and pride with frank intimacy’ – The Observer New Review