Out 12th November via Gearbox Records
Credit: Kasia Kawalek | Download HERE
Previous praise for Jelly Cleaver: “Following in the footsteps of numerous London musicians including Moses Boyd and Nubya Garcia is guitarist and vocalist Jelly Cleaver. Fans of Esperanza and Hiatus Kaiyote should take note” - Tina Edwards, Supreme Standards/Worldwide FM “Cleaver is an artist who is pushing jazz forward way beyond her peers” - Twisted Soul “An absurdly talented musician and songwriter” - LOUD WOMEN -- South London guitarist, activist, producer, and singer-songwriter Jelly Cleaver has announced details of her new debut EP with her group “The Forever Presence”, as well as her signing to taste-maker independent label Gearbox Records (Graham Costello, The Cookers, Abdullah Ibrahim, Thiago Nassif). The EP is due for digital and vinyl release in November 2021. Cleaver has had an incendiary rise over the last year; She has received the Steve Reid Award, is a Serious Take Five artist, was nominated for an Ivors Composer Award, and has been called “the next artist to make an impact on the London Jazz Scene” by Tina Edwards (EZH, Worldwide FM). She has performed at EartH Hackney, Jazz Cafe, Brainchild, EFG London Jazz Festival, and We Out Here in various line-ups. As an anti-racist and climate justice activist, Cleaver performs at activist events and organises workshops and music to celebrate freedom of movement and migrant rights. She is also responsible for the monthly Jelly’s Jams night at Brixton’s The Windmill and hosts a radio show on internet radio station Why Now World. In the excitement and movement of the London jazz scene, the EP takes the neglected elements of ballads and beauty, allowing other emotions to enter the music. The ballad is a timeless form in jazz history explored by all the greats, but it’s added to with subtle modern techniques to reflect our timeless but modern problems. It pays tribute to artists like Pharaoh Sanders, Alice Coltrane and Dhafer Youssef, as well as taking inspiration from her contemporaries such as Moor Mother and Angel Bat Dawid. These are songs about loss, love, and the universe. To mark the announcement of the new EP, today, Cleaver has shared a new single taken titled, “Forever Presence: Pt. 2”. The track sees Cleaver introduce her unique and progressive style of ballad, blending mellifluous keys and guitars with harmonious sax, which is at once fervent and meditative. The single subtly ebbs and flows around Cleaver’s forlorn and passionate lyrics that are inspired by the loss of a loved one.
Speaking about the track, Cleaver says, “It’s a reflection on the idea that change is inevitable and inescapable, it is a fact of existence, but states of being like love are not fixed. Love cannot exist in the moment; it is in between the moments that it lives. In-fact no state of being can exist in the moment, pinned down in time and space, but rather all things flow, always relational to the past and the future. In this way, love acts like a presence that is forever with us as it’s without time and space.
Furthermore, when we lose a loved one, we realise that simple boundaries like life and death do not really reflect our reality. People can live long after their death in the memories of those whose lives they touched and changed forever.”
“Forever Presence” is out 12th November via Gearbox Records – pre-order HERE
(EP artwork) Jelly Cleaver “Forever Presence” Tracklisting: 1. Forever Presence: Pt. 1 2. Forever Presence: Pt. 2 3. Prayer For Rojava 4. We Have Known Love 5. Black Line Follow: Facebook Twitter Instagram