Review | Jeanne Jolly’s Angels by James Hogan

We live in an enviable age for music. So many of the barriers that once stood between a musician and her audience have been toppled, and (for the most part) thank goodness. These days a wealth of music awaits our discovery—part of the reason Pandora is so terrific—but that also means it could be easy to overlook a gem.

I don’t think it would be fair to say Jeanne Jolly was ever overlooked, but even if that was the case, she won’t be for much longer. Her debut full-length album, Angels, dropped this week, and it is stunningly gorgeous.

Angels follows Jolly’s last studio work, the EP Falling in Carolina, which felt centered around its title song, a tribute to Jolly’s mother, who battled cancer but passed away a few years ago. While those songs were full of emotion, they were singer/songwriter-driven, often simple, and appropriately built from only what was necessary.

Angels presents a new plateau in Jolly’s sound—full of lush, beautiful layers that ease in and out of choruses and bridges, there before you know it and washed away before they become overbearing. I had the chance to hear several of these songs performed live earlier this summer, when Jeanne and her band stopped by Blowing Rock. They were solid songs then, but it’s clear that the musicians invested a lot of work in the studio to craft each tune. This is an album you should listen to straight through.

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