Miriam Jones, a renowned singer-songwriter with roots in Cranbrook is releasing a new record this week and will be performing at First Baptist Church on Thursday, June 16, at 7:30 p.m.
Jones’ newest record, “Reach for the Morning” features 12 songs of faith, hope and self-revelation, and was very much the product of lockdown strictures stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic of the last two years.
The record was recorded in Jones’ pop-up home basement studio in Victoria, over the course of 2020 and 2021 with Jones producing and playing all of the instruments herself, bar a handful of percussion overdubs.
“Maybe it was the lockdowns, the oppressive forces of all kinds bearing down, or maybe it was simply within the natural flow of where I was at in myself, but I sure was hell bent on making this thing,” said Jones. “It’s been a huge accomplishment personally to me, like slaying a giant with a sling and five smooth stones.”
The new album will be released June 17 in three formats, containing seven brand new self-written tunes plus three covers (a startling reframing of Bob Dylan’s “Lord Protect My Child”, Henry Purcell’s iconic “When I Am Laid In Earth” and Lionel Bart’s “Who Will Buy?”) on top of radical makeovers of two songs of praise from the hymnal canon.
For the album’s first single, Room In My House, Jones drew on memories of latching onto the electric guitar and “rooting around in some old spirituals” while looking for a place to live in London with her husband, Jez.
“Inexplicably, we ended up in an extraordinary Victorian terrace near the Thames with 3 floors and glorious windows,” she said. “Our first day in the place I lay down on the bed and cried with amazement, gratitude and immense relief. I hadn’t realised how much my spirit had been quietly bracing for the loss of space and privacy which I assumed this move to the big city would require—and here was this gift.
“It was a short leap in my imagination from that feeling of space which had been created for me, to thinking about what it means to let ourselves be shaped in ways that make room for people – people who may be hard to love, even our ‘enemies.’
“What good is it to live in comfort if we are inhospitable with our lives?”
Room In My House is the first taste of new music since “Between Green and Gone” produced by Simon Edwards and released in 2015. The album brought her to the attention of the national media and gained support from BBC Radio 2’s Bob Harris show, BBC Scotland as well as BBC London’s Robert Elms, whilst also being featured in The Independent On Sunday, to name a few.
“Reach for the Morning” is available to pre-order online from Bandcamp, an online record store that directly supports music artists, as well as Apple Music, while “Room in My House” is streaming on Bandcamp and Spotify.