Jesse Payne’s latest, Heirloom (Capture Music Inc.), will be released August 14, 2015. Heirloom is an audio-painting of the passage of time and the baggage we bury. Omens and angels. Philosophical and historical. Generations patched into fabric like heirlooms; these are the things we carry.
Jesse Payne stems from a soil deep in the Southeastern region of the United States. He nests in scenic views of trees and mountains blending into valleys of skyscrapers and barns. Alabama and the Appalachian trail provide the canvas for his yellow shade of timeless polaroids transposing over lake and swing. A lifestyle suggesting an inheritance of owls and their nocturnal solitude. His sound and sight each born from a landscape of heavy cotton hands and autumn chairs.
Upon returning to his home in early 2007, after cutting his teeth touring the eastern coastal region for a couple of years, Jesse Payne delivered the EP, Beyond the Leaves. The EP earned him a spot in The Big Takeover’s Top 40, alongside Band of Horses, Death Cab For Cutie, and Willie Nelson. Payne released his debut full-length album, Nesting (Capture Music Inc.) on November 10, 2010. The album reached #3 in California on KDVS radio and stayed in the College top 30 across the United States for six consecutive weeks. The year following the release of Nesting was full of studio sessions and tour dates. On October 4, 2011, Payne released the Buffalo EP (Capture Music Inc.) alongside the Kettle & Crow DVD (Capture Music Inc.).
Jesse Payne and the team of audio-painters began recording the album in the summer of 2012. Life waged a brutal war against Jesse and the album, but underestimated the team that is his family. Battle after battle and many obstacles, that together, they overcame, the album was completed. Coffers were depleted and the men were left clinging to the trenches and desperately grasping to the belief that this album held the story of what was and what was to become. With the support and guidance of CMI Records and Team Clermont, they decided to venture into a crowdfunding campaign with musicraiser.com to raise the funds needed to release Heirloom. After two months of campaigning in the beginning of 2015, the team raised over $11,000 from fans, friends, and family to secure that this album would be released. These contributors have become an essential part of the story which is Heirloom.
Ghettoblaster recently caught up with Payne to discuss the endeavor. This is what he said.
When did you begin writing the material for Heirloom?
I began writing for Heirloom shortly after releasing Nesting in late 2010. The images and sounds that I was working on were all very heavy and confusing. I needed some time to digest them and to understand them. I needed some space from it so I began working on what was to become the Buffalo EP. Once Buffalo was released in October of 2011, I went back to working on Heirloom.
Which of the songs on the LP is most different from your original concept for the song?
“Ulysses.” It was one of the first songs I began working on after Nesting. I knew the concept, lyrically and sonically, that I wanted to achieve with it, but I wasn’t quite sure how to do it. It went through a few name changes and I attempted each new version in different keys. The musical notes and rhythms morphed throughout the process but the basic vibe remained. I’m really proud of how it turned out.
How does Heirloom differ from previous efforts, the Buffalo EP and Nesting?
Conceptually, Heirloom is the final piece of the story that began with Nesting. Heirlooms are the things that you take with you, so instead of it signifying an ending, it actually becomes a beginning. I wanted to reference Nesting and Buffalo musically throughout Heirloom, but also to introduce where the music is wanting to go from here. It’s a darker and heavier album than either Nesting or Buffalo. After a few years, the world looks different. Capturing that difference on Heirloom was really important to me.
Where did you come up with the term “audio-painters?” Were the audio-painters involved in the creation of the songs?
When it comes to art, I love the abstract. Lyrically, I use a lot of imagery to portray the emotions and concepts that I want the listener to see while providing the space for individual meaning. I use the music in a similar way. Every note, every vibrato brings with it a different color or shade. When I began work for Nesting, I felt like I was painting the music more so than recording it. The term audio-painter came to me during that process. I feel it is a better description of how we approach the music than the term, recording. I’ll bring the songs to the team, and then we all do our best to paint the image that will be used for the album. Each audio-painter that I work with has a unique style. The colors they provide to the songs help bring the images to life. Everyone that worked on Heirloom is a major part of the album’s fabric.
What are your touring plans for summer or fall?
Our plan for touring is to begin with specific markets and then branch out from there. We are in the midst of setting up dates for the fall and on into the next year. We’ll be headlining a festival in Birmingham, Alabama on August 15. The touring will begin shortly thereafter.
(Visit Jesse Payne here: