SongVault Artist Profile
Jane Carrey Band
California, United States
Alternative / Rock
The sad clown has been a key figure in pop culture since Billie Holiday, but few 21st-century singers and songwriters know better than Jane Carrey the way the tears of a clown also have the power to make people smile.
With the Jane Carrey Band, this guitar-playing chanteuse has been showing Southern California audiences the beauty in melancholy for about two years now. The quartet's forthcoming debut album brings the sophistication and smoldering expressiveness of jazz to the passion and tunefulness of folk-tinged alternative rock.
"I kind of grew up in a family of carnies," says Jane, the daughter of Golden Globe-winning actor and comedian Jim Carrey. "I definitely think I inherited that trait."
With fluttering vocals and lyrics wiser than her mere 21 years of age, Jane's music steps confidently out from her father's footsteps and into the center ring. She sings of streetwalkers and innocents, death metal bands and spies, love lost and love found, and of course-- over trippy backwards-guitar effects on "Carnival"-- the gypsy lifestyle of a lonely-hearted clown. Hammond organs wail, trumpets cry into the night, guitars jangle or burst in air.
The Jane Carrey Band formed not long after Jane met drummer Terry Goldberg and bassist Ian Sloane at the highly selective Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences in Santa Monica, Calif., which Jane attended for its jazz program. Terry still also plays in a jazz band, and he says his interests extend to rock, reggae, and even electronic music, depending on what show he's seen this month. Adds Ian: "I bring a funky, jazzy kind of vibe to the band that everybody else feeds off of."
Lead guitarist Daniel Sahagun officially joined the group earlier this year, after he and Jane had bonded over an acoustic duet cover of an obscure Chris Cornell song, "Preaching the End of the World," which Cornell wrote in tribute to the late Jeff Buckley.
As the name suggests, the Jane Carrey Band is a band in the old-school sense, not a singer/songwriter project. "One thing Jane and I were adamant about in the beginning was really being able to write together and developing material as a band," Daniel recalls. "It's amazing what a different dynamic can come up when you're actually bouncing ideas off of each other."
Still, most of the Jane Carrey Band's songs so far are Jane's. They can be as ethereal as Buckley, as sultry-smart as Fiona Apple, or as cool, smoky, and retro as Norah Jones. They can also be funky-- someone tell Stevie Wonder to check out the soulful strut of "City Lights." Bonus acoustic track "Oh Lover," recorded alone at home in front of a computer, is as intimate as Canadian indie singer/songwriter Feist.
The songs reflect Jane's conviction that she has to be able to explore even the darkest topics, the most complex chords, and still be able to bring joy to the listener. "I have heard the calling of the wise/ Telling me the skies are where my head should be," she sings on "Simple Beauty," as close as the album comes to a mission statement.
"There's crazy shit that happens in this life and in this world," Jane confides. "No matter what you're going through, you will always end up coming out the other side of it."