Jodi Announces Debut LP Blue Heron via Sooper Records
Listen to first single ‘Go Slowly’
Chicago-based multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Jodi, AKA Nick Levine (ex-Pinegrove) has announced their debut LP Blue Heron coming July 16th via the increasingly important Chicago indie label Sooper Records (NNAMDÏ, Sen Morimoto, KAINA).
Self-described “queer country,” Blue Heron is gentle yet deeply powerful in its song writing – a series of self-spoken intimate and remarkably present moments that recalls the likes of Jason Molina, Mount Eerie, Duster, and Julie Doiron. No track is more intimate than first single ‘Go Slowly’ a driving song in which Levine dissociates from actual motion through the world while thinking behind the wheel.
With “Go Slowly” this immediate wave of intricate acoustic notes provides this compelling bed for the standout, distinct yet tender vocal notes to fall against. Jodi adds this delicate sway within the tone, a wealth of emotions can be fully embraced within the lyrical reach, this arrangement will move you. The serene guitar harmony is backed by this careful yet consuming percussion and gentle shuffles which adds a push to exploration and the sweeter melodies emit a warmth that we can find comfort within. “Go Slowly” reconnects the songwriter to the audience, providing this orchestration destined to shape the vibe and make a stronger connection than anticipated. The lyrics provide purpose, the soft vocal notes are a powerful attribute to a release that is utterly expressive.
On their debut LP Blue Heron, Chicago-based multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Jodi‘s (Nick Levine) self-described “queer country” delivers a series of soft-spoken intimate moments capable of turning your inner world upside down with a whisper. It is a type of gentle yet deeply powerful songwriting for fans of artists like Jason Molina, Mount Eerie, Karen Dalton, Julie Doiron, and Duster. Blue Heron is due 16th July via Chicago indie label Sooper Records.
For Levine, Jodi is tentatively described as an alter-ego, a lens in which they can ask questions, push boundaries and step outside of their inner world. Debut full length Blue Heron captures Levine’s continued search for meaning; a search where a couple of chance encounters with a bird—a great blue heron— taught them to embrace the fortuity of creative expression and surrender to its symbolism as a metaphor for understanding their own work, and the world.
Levine encountered the blue heron first while writing the project, and again while recording it. In the first encounter, “It pulled me out of a spiral,” they say. “Maybe you’re not in the amount of control that you think and that’s actually a good thing. There’s so much life happening outside of your head and that’s really grounding to remember.” It was this initial chance encounter that urged Levine to get outside of their own head and breathe the bigger picture more deeply into their writing. Later, during their final days of recording those songs, Levine was visited by a second blue heron. For them, it was a sure sign.
Committing fully to the symbolism, Levine had a large blue heron tattooed on their back and submerged themself in a freezing Chicago pond as a means to forever memorialize the Blue Heron as both the album cover and title. Marking the dedication to their art – with wings wide open, ready to take flight – it also signifies the power of music, nature and friendship. While Blue Heron claws at the strands of meaning, and tries to make sense of the world, it’s a work that ultimately only finds closure in the complete surrender to forces greater than oneself. It embraces chance, coincidence, and fate with a sublime curiosity, ultimately finding meaning in the randomness of it all.