Lifestyle Ad, the recently released single from singer and songwriter Jess Hart, is more than a little ukulele number. It's a sign of things to come.
Hart, who now lives in Roberts Creek, got her start in the Montreal music scene around 2002 and debuted her own self-produced album, Incorporated, in 2009. There are no love-you-never-leave-you lyrics here - Hart's original compositions explore bigger issues: commercialism, corporations, consumer culture, and they express a certain heady independence.
"I tell my friends I don't care / We take our own cars to get there" she sings in her song, Friends.
"Traditional themes are always covered in mainstream media," she points out. "This is art for change; I'm always moving forward."
It's folk-based music, though she cites influences from Radiohead to grunge from the 1990s, and the guitar is her main instrument. When she sings, it's in a higher register, Feist-style voice much different than her lower, fast-paced speaking voice. It has a quirky appeal.
Hart moved to B.C. with friends who decided they wanted out of the big city. The Coast was recommended for its artistic community, and once she visited, she decided not to leave.
Lifestyle Ad and other works in progress are being mixed at Strait Sound in Roberts Creek in what Hart terms a world-class recording studio. The next tunes will have more of a Motown feel to them, she reports, and the title will be Sex and Bureaucracy. She likes to have a theme to her albums and one of the key themes she's noticed from many musicians since moving to the Coast is that of freedom.
"Music for me is the best tool possible to express my thoughts and ideas about my surroundings and to communicate them meaningfully," Hart said.
The release will be available on Itunes and Amazon and through several channels of digital distribution. Seewww.jesshart.comfor more information about music and upcoming shows.