It was a relief for us when we heard that Minnesota songsmith Mason Jennings was leaving Glacier Pace Records after the mildly disappointing Boneclouds and had moved on to Jack Johnson’s label Brushfire Records.
Boneclouds wasn’t a bad record, but it always felt like it was an effort, where his other records seemed so fluid, romantic, fiery and beautiful. We’re guessing the pressure of the added recording budget might have contributed.
We’ll still decide if it was a good move later in May when Jennings’s Brushfire debut In the Ever drops, but for now we feel like this is the record label he belongs at. He joins the likes of Matt Costa, Rogue Wave, G. Love and AOL.
And Jack and Mason go back to at least 2001, when Jennings opened up for Johnson at a slew of club dates. In the Ever was recorded at Mason’s home studio in the Minnesota woods and his followup to 2006’s Boneclouds. We get our first glimpse of the album through concert favorite “Fighter Girl.”
It’s a great tune that was previously released on the If You Need a Reason EP. The new version has some added keyboard tracks twinkling in the background, a nice flourish but not a distraction, and features his trademark vocal delivery and tight guitar strumming. There’s a subtle difference, but the new track feels bigger, as if it were taking a deep breath.