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“Ringing guitar chords are backed by atmospheric layers of keyboards, but the true stunner is McDell’s unforced voice, which has already led the Americana artist to gold certifications and award nominations in her native New Zealand.” Rolling Stone on “Extraordinary Girl” (single)
New Zealand native Jamie McDell has released her third album Extraordinary Girl out worldwide today. Independently released, the record came together between Auckland, NZ and Nashville, TN where she recorded all the tracks with award-winning Australian producer Nash Chambers. It also features a hearty cast of country music legends including Kasey Chambers, Bill Chambers and Tami Neilson.
This record reflects her deep love of the music from her childhood. It formed the fundamental elements of what inspired her about songwriting the most - honest vocals, raw acoustic guitar and deep storytelling. Being drawn to artists like James Taylor and John Denver in her early years, she booked a trip to Nashville for a change of scenery a few years ago to connect with the environment that birthed the country/folk music of her youth. It was there that she wrote the songs that would make up the fabric of this record. On this work, McDell’s vocals are the most raw and vulnerable they have ever been: powerful, honest and reflect her core listening inspirations which also includes Patty Griffin and Alison Krauss. Putting the overall feeling of the album into words wasn’t easy, but McDell reflects on the personal challenge of leaving the comfort of home to write something that was honest and true. “Nashville was me getting out of my comfort zone and finding my way back to it. The listener is getting a sincerely true collection of stories that haven’t been tampered with since they were written. They are exactly what I felt like saying/singing at the time - raw, unpolished and deeply honest.”
“Showcasing more richness and density than the typical banjo and fiddle exercise, the album contains waves of haunting tremolo guitar ("Under the Bonnet"), fuzzy squalls and heavy distortion ("3AM," "Bad Attitude"), and a keen sense for crafting rewarding, sometimes even dramatic, vocal melodies.” –All Music
The singer-songwriter, who is in her mid-twenties, has achieved an enormous amount for someone so young. Being signed to EMI at age 16 sparked the beginning of a successful musical journey, making Jamie McDell a household name across New Zealand. With the release of her debut album Six Strings and a Sailboat, she went on to achieve Gold album sales, receive three NZ Music Award nominations and win Best Pop Album. Her sophomore record Ask Me Anything gained global attention, seeing album track “Moon Shines Red” featured on hit TV show Pretty Little Liars.
“The result of her long journey from home is a stunning, 12-song collection of raw confessionals, breezy anthems and plaintive storytelling rooted in the tradition of old school country and folk balladeers.” –Wide Open Country
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