Born in the midst of Ontario’s disappearing forests and spreading cities, Jenny Berkel has always had a deep awareness of changing landscapes and the tenuous thread by which we live and love. Her pursuit of formal education against this backdrop was interrupted to appease her appetite for the bracing instruction of travel, pen and paperback. Then, seeking the uncluttered desktop of the Prairies, Berkel packed her suitcases and guitar into a Greyhound two cold winters ago and landed in Winnipeg.
Fold in part wanderlust, love adrift and a grievous family loss A year later, Berkel had two handfuls of new material, which came together to form her debut full length collection, Here on a Wire. Produced by Matt Peters (Royal Canoe and The Waking Eyes), this debut is a collection of eleven stark and haunting songs that draw their substance from a blend of personal experience and collective history. Alternately sad and hopeful, the songs are awash with quiet images of ghosts, dreams, lost love, and cityscape.
Centering around the lilt of Berkel’s emotive lyrics, Here on a Wire features a brooding and delicate arrangement of cello, upright bass, French horn, slide guitar, organ, and percussion. With Jenny’s deep and smoky voice winding its way through these rich layers, the album stands as an arresting collection of “haunt folk.”