Over four critically–acclaimed albums, Elizabeth Shepherd has created a body of work that has resonated around the world. Credited as one of the young forces pushing the boundaries of jazz, Shepherd continues to create her own artful, soulful and hip brand of music with her upcoming release, The Signal.
Along with artists like Esperanza Spalding, Robert Glasper and Jose James, she is seen as part of a wave of jazz musicians bringing the art form to a new generation of music fans. Versed in equal parts Stevie Wonder, Salvation Army brass bands and classical sonatas, it is perhaps no surprise that this globetrotting talent — a Polaris Prize Long List and two–time JUNO Award nominee — has developed such a distinct and unique voice.
With The Signal, Shepherd joins the ranks of an exclusive group of artists committed to uncompromising and playful exploration, unafraid of falling between the genre cracks. Highlights include her collaborations with Lionel Loueke (Herbie Hancock, Angelique Kidjo) — one of the most celebrated guitarists of his generation — which are both sublime and funky.
The subject matter for the songs covers topics as wide–ranging as Monsanto and motherhood, witchcraft and war. Her trademark rhythmic groove is always at the core of Shepherd’s writing, while her fluid, sensual, breathy voice is as compelling and haunting as ever.
There’s a maturity to Shepherd’s songwriting here, as she clearly doesn’t set out to prove anything, and in effect, does so much more. The Signal plays as a series of 10 seamlessly woven songs, hearkening back to the golden era of the Album: a purposefully crafted audio journey that begs another visit, time and time again. Far from sitting neatly in any camp, The Signal will outlive trends and fads and reward music–lovers with each new listen.
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