Tropicali Records and Kaua’i/Los Angeles-based songwriter Courtney Jaye have released Hymns and Hallelucinations, an LP with accompanying full-length album visual/”video trip” that Jaye calls:
…an introspective, meditative, psychedelic exploration into the soul of a woman: her rage, her confusion, her sadness, her sexuality, her defiance, her darkness, her strength and her light.
Like the album, the Joshua Shoemaker-directed film is the story of a woman “discovering the deepest parts of herself as she faces her fears head-on, evolving along the way and becoming illuminated to the Ultimate Power behind it all,” as Jaye states. She also calls the album “spiritual music for weirdos.”
Though the album’s song titles may seem overtly religious, like “Let There Be Light,” “The Kingdom Is Inside Me,” “Take It Up With The Lord”, Jaye clarifies that these songs are not about religion but about “the search for God, whatever that means to you.”
Jaye, who is Jewish, wasn’t interested in religion but intentionally pursued her own search for God in unconventional ways. She was encouraged to make Hymns and Hallelucinations by her old friend, the late “Ikey” Owens, a Grammy-winning keyboardist for The Mars Volta and Jack White. When she had doubts about making a “Gospel” record, Owens encouraged her to take the risk and even offered to Produce. He passed away unexpectedly shortly thereafter, and she knew she had to finish this record in his honor.
Producing the album herself, Jaye is accompanied by the support of musical director William Tyler (Merge Records), Jack Lawrence (The Raconteurs), Loney John Hutchins, Luke Schneider (Third Man Records), Mikaela Davis (Rounder Records), and mixed by the genius of Tucker Martine.
I had to go through a lot of crazy shit and many near-death experiences — personally, artistically and professionally — to discover who I really am. Hopefully this record will save some people the trouble.