Weaving grief into gold, Eliza Hardy Jones’ new single is a balm for wounded hearts - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
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Women who quilt are magic makers, steeped in history and enchantment, crafting visual stories of warmth and beauty while expressing the depth of the human experience and a particular kind of feminine strength. Eliza Hardy Jones, multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, producer, and quilter, carries this kind of tender power into her songwriting on her forthcoming solo album, Pickpocket, due on Tuesday, April 19th.

The album, a mesmerizing indie-folk offering, is a testament to her multifaceted creativity. And the first single off the release, “This is the Year,” is a heartfelt journey through grief. There’s a rawness and a delicate beauty in her voice as she wraps the listener in her experience of pain, healing, and the quest for joy.

“‘This is the Year’ is a song I wrote about the hardest year of my life and how I made it through,” explains Jones. “It was a year of profound loss, and both physical and emotional ruin. It was a time where I found myself lost in my own grief. I wrote this song as a way to find my way out, to find my way back.”

In “This is the Year” Eliza sings:

“Grief is a pickpocket. Don’t see it coming ‘til it left you broke.
Grief is a stranger that steals everything you knew about yourself…”

Eliza Hardy Jones - This Is The Year (Official Lyric Video)

Along with the song comes a mesmerizing lyric video, awash in color-saturated scenes of nature. Speaking of the video, Jones had this to share:

I collaborated with the visual artist Nikolai Fox to create a music video that would capture the feeling of watching time move. Nikolai worked with varying frame rates and experimental motion photography techniques – aiming to take us out of our normal experience of time – in order to accentuate the sharp tenderness of passing moments, joy and loss, that the song expresses. All of the footage was shot in Nikolai’s yard, in Bass Harbor, Maine. We were long time bandmates in The City Wide Specials (a Philadelphia bluegrass and old-time band), and Nikolai drops in a few vintage photographs of me from 20 years ago. True time travel.

Recording the Album: Pickpocket

Her home studio, surrounded by her quilting projects, was the sanctuary where this album was born, sharing melodies and memories with musical compatriots across the country.

“Pickpocket,” was written, recorded, and produced by Eliza with production assistance from producer, engineer, and instrumentalist Nick Krill — of The Spinto Band, Teen Men, and many others — who also mixed the record. Additional musicians recorded their parts in bedrooms across space and time, including some of Jones’ bandmates from The War On Drugs: Charlie Hall, Dave Hartley, and Anthony LaMarca. Other collaborators on the record include Matt Musty (who Jones plays with in Grace Potter’s band), Brandon Beaver (her longtime creative partner in Buried Beds), and many more, helping bring the album to life. The ten original songs on Pickpocket are not just about surviving grief; they are a reflection on living, on finding beauty and purpose in the midst of sorrow, and on the power of music to connect us to our deepest selves and to each other.

Eliza will play select dates in celebration of Pickpocket and will continue to perform with The War on Drugs throughout 2024, including September 17th at the Mann Music Center in her hometown of Philadelphia.

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