Castle’s in the sky
Jennifer Castle is headlining her own tour but finds it difficult to connect with fans while constantly travelling
Jennifer Castle has been described as a Canadian secret. She’s featured on songs by the Fucked Up, The Constantines, Elliott Brood, Wyrd Visions and has collaborated with Sebastien Grainger and Dan Werb for the National Parks Project. But you probably haven’t heard of her.
Her third album Castlemusic is named after the moniker she used to release her first two albums — 2006’s Live at the Music Gallery and 2008’s You Can’t Take Anyone. Castle said she’s switched her stage names but not her style.
“I feel that there’s a narrative that runs through them,” she said. “It’s all an extension of my writing. I don’t forget any of the work I’ve done or wish it away. I hope to just continue it in a line.”
Castle described her last album as tight, but said she wanted her new album to sound bigger.
“You can make a tiny gesture in such a big sounding space and it can just be very powerful,” she said.
Castle recorded Castlemusic at a studio in Toronto’s Kensington Market with engineer Jeff McMurrich and drummer Dave Clarke. Castle said there’s definitely more dimension to the new album.
“[My music is] like a balloon. I want it to float away and be natural,” she said. “But I also need a strand to it, so that I can perform it. I need to still be holding onto it in some way, because the performances so often are just me and a guitar. I don’t want it to live too much beyond my means.”
Her tour started last month, with Castle headlining most of the shows.
“I’m more used to travelling and opening for people,” she said. “I’m only starting to get the hang of travelling and starting to wrap my head around the fact that people are coming out to see what I’m doing. That’s definitely been a bit of a trip for me.” The new tour features more air travel, leaving Castle with less preparation time before shows.
Despite the new challenges, she said she’s determined to make each performance impactful.
“You have to find meaning somehow,” she said. “It’s a meeting of the minds … You’re definitely all there for the same reason in a way. It’s a coming together. It does feel like a gathering to me.”
Jennifer Castle plays Chalmers United Church tomorrow night at 7 p.m.