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Denielle Bassels

LITTLE BIT A' LOVE - ALBUM RELEASE MEDIA PAGE

DENIELLE BASSELS UNVEILS EMOTIVE MUSICAL JOURNEY IN SECOND STUDIO ALBUM, "LITTLE BIT A' LOVE"

Discover the Radiant Charm of Denielle Bassels' "Little Bit a' Love": An Exquisite Tapestry of Resilience and Enchanting Serenity - LISTEN HERE:

ALBUM CREDITS

M✓A✓P✓L✓
 

FILE UNDER:

jazz, pop, cinematic, Bossanova, singer-songwriter


 

SOUNDS LIKE/FOR FANS OF:

November Ultra, Billieann, Nora Jones, Feist, Adele, Nico Case, Esthero, Caro Emerald, Corrine Bailey Rae

Written by:

Denielle Bassels (1,3,5-9), Denielle Bassels w/ Mike Mathieson (2,4) and Sherman and Sherman (10)

Acoustic Guitars: Tak Arikushi, Andy Mac

Electric Guitar- Julien Bradley Combs

Upright Bass: Scott Hunter, Robert Lee, Russ Boswell

Clarinet: Jacob Gorzhaltsan

Saxophone: Rob Christian

Violin, Viola: Drew Jurecka

Drums: Andrew Scott

Percussion: Chendy Leon

Vibraphone, acoustic guitar: Thom McKay

Background Vocals: Meg Contini

 

Production:

Denielle Bassels, Thom Mckay

Additional Production and arranging for “Gone” in addition to string arrangements: Drew Jurecka

Mixing:

Les Cooper

Mastering:

Phil Bova

© (P) Denielle Bassels SOCAN 2022

UPC 859772024345

DSP LINK: https://ffm.to/little-bit-a-love

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ABOUT THE ALBUM

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“Little Bit a’ Love features buoyant, euro swing with brave arrangements, lush backup harmonies, and the richly emotional voice and writing of Denielle Bassels.”- LILY FROST, MUSICIAN, HOST OF CROONERS & SONGBIRDS

Denielle Bassels' second studio album, "Little Bit a' Love," is the anticipated follow-up to 2017's celebrated album, "What About Wool Wishbags," which received glowing reviews and airplay in Canada and beyond. Slated for release in June 2023, listeners can look forward to Bassels' emotive, musical journey as she pulls back the curtain to share her most personal struggles of loss and depression to her quest for purpose. Bassels beckons us to witness a poignant metamorphosis that is resoundingly triumphant. Along with her signature modus operandi of seamlessly weaving elements of folk, swing and blues, "Little Bit a' Love" demonstrates that the most profound love can grow and thrive under the toughest circumstances. 

 

On the opening track, "Little Bit a' Love," we are transported to a street party in New Orleans where we find passersby joining in on this catchy folk swing original with makeshift shakers, cajón, and congas, played by Chendy Leon (Sultans Of String), and acoustic guitar by Thom McKay (Nightcrawlers). After, we all hop a swinging getaway train to old New York with "Pooter And Significo," and the saga of "Little bit a' Love" is born.

 

 "My goal was to channel the great Nina Simone in the sense that she refused to be constrained by genre, always wrote about things that impacted her deeply and could affect change, yet always gave the song only what it needed and nothing more, or less. I wanted this album to be playable from a single voice on the streets of Paris to a full orchestra at Carnegie Hall, which meant a way deeper dive into the songwriting process".

 

Sonically, "Little Bit a' Love" is a new and exciting landscape for this ever-curious artist. While her previous album featured mad hatter arrangements and lush soundscapes, Bassels new volume of work has pushed far out of her comfort zone in both voice and orchestration. This time, she takes a more prominent role in production alongside co-producer Thom McKay (Joydrop, SATE). The result is ten thoughtfully crafted songs that are highly expressive and undeniably soulful, aided by a host of talented musicians, including Drew Jurecka (Jill Barber, Dua Lipa), who also produced the seventh track, "Gone," Russ Boswell (Holly Cole), along with many of the same talents from “What About Wool Wishbags”; Scott Hunter, Andrew Scott, Andy Mac, and Jacob Gorzhaltsan with the addition of new band mate guitarist, Julien Bradley Combs.

 

Having begun the project in 2019, Denielle faced the challenges brought on by the pandemic and recorded much of the album in remote sessions. Producer Thom McKay then brought it together at Exeter Sound Studios in Toronto. This was a completely different approach than Bassels had previously experienced. "It was a blessing in disguise because I was forced to push past my limits (limits I set for myself!) and dig deeper into arranging and production. I started writing on piano, played more ukulele and guitar, and found an incredible producing partner and friend in Thom. It was a fun time making music, and I know it shows on the record.”

 

Sometimes tender, sometimes tough, but always with a flair for storytelling, Bassels makes a distinct departure from her previous work while still maintaining a cohesive connection to her listeners - long-time fans will appreciate tracks such as "Tangled Thread" and "Pooter And Significo" which evoke images of swing dancing in the Orleans summer heat, while tracks "Gone" and "Big Bad Wolf" bring us deeper into Bassels' world as if we are her confidante amidst the desolation of a cold Canadian night. With a renewed sense of self, Denielle Bassels delivers a distinctive album that manages to sound classic yet strikingly original. 

 

"Denielle Bassels is one of the brightest new lights on the Canadian Jazz scene." - RAUL DA GAMMA

TRACK DESCRIPTIONS

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1. Little Bit a’ Love (2:09) G Major, 107bpm, folk, roots, jazz 

 

Upbeat, acoustic, and soulful this joyous tune is about little acts of love that can have a huge impact. Featuring playful harmonies, cajon and congas by Chendy Leon (Sultans of String) and upright bass by Russ Boswell (Holly Cole). Inspired by an event where a teenage Bassels talked a stranger out of a dark place. Bassels seeks to reconnect with this stranger and hear his side of this amazing story

 

 2. Pooter and Significo (2:51) C Major, 120bpm, pop, swing, indie

 

Two bandit lovers are on the run and have caught a getaway train. They realize that this is going to be the best summer of their lives and want to savor every moment. Featuring rhythmic guitar with satisfying and surprising dreamy interludes with vibraphone by Thom McKay (Joydrop) 

 

3. Tangled Thread (3:41) Ab minor, 151bpm, swing jazz, pop

 

A wonderfully wild and unpredictable pop-swing tune about the different faces of depression, featuring sultry and edgy vocals with whimsical arrangements, Andrew Sisters-type harmonies and Django style guitar solo by Andy Mac. This song asks the listener to go deeper, to look beyond the surface before things get dire.

 

4. Catch Her and She Gone (2:32) G Major, 71bpm, pop, folk, jazz, island rhythm

 

Sun-kissed and whimsical, with catchy island rhythms by Chendy Leon (Sultans of String), Bassels’ sultry and playful vocals, and sweet harmonies by Meg Contini (The O’Pears), this song tells the story of a mermaid who captures a pirate ship. She is a leaf in the wind and master of her own destiny. 

 

5. Lazy Gazing (3:28) F Major, 58bpm, jazz, pop, cinematic, bossa nova

 

Sultry and languid, this breezy spring/summer track is perfect for lying by the water and just watching the boats drift by. Featuring electric guitar stylings by Julien Bradley-Combs Denielle’s intimate jazzy vocals and a clarinet solo by Jacob Gorzhaltsan (The Jellyfish).

 

6. Gone (3:45) F Major, 57bpm, soul, jazz, big band, ballad, cinematic

 

A soulful ballad invoking impressions of Duffy, Adele, and Amy Winehouse. It features Motown-style guitar, the perfect backdrop for Bassels’ soulful and powerful vocals that tug at the heartstrings. Her timeless melody is enveloped in sweeping violins that were both performed and arranged by Drew Jurecka (Dua Lipa). Gone is a powerful tune about finding the strength to let go and walk away into the unknown.

 

7. Big Bad Wolf (2:40) G Major, 116bpm, blues, jazz, dusty New Orleans style

 

Invoking powerhouses like Big Mama Thornton and Amy Winehouse, Bassels’ deep and sultry Halloween-friendly jazz/blues track tells the story of a strong, powerful woman who falls in love with the Big Bad Wolf and is led down a dark path. However, through Bassels’ badass blues vocals, big range, and strong, effected electric guitars reminiscent of The White Stripes, she convinces us that she’ll take care of business next time a Big Bad Wolf comes “sniffin’ round.”

 

8. I Only Wanna Sing (3:57) F Major, 92bpm, jazz, retro blues, pop.

 

Written during isolation about a woman who is locked up with her lover and realizes they are not a good match. She is being driven crazy by her need to leave… forever. A bouncy and bluesy, jazz-pop track featuring sultry and playful vocal stylings reminiscent of Billie Holiday and Doris Day and fun harmonies.

 

9. Fluffy the Abandoned Cottonball (4:11) B Major, 58bpm, jazz, swing, ballad

 

Melancholic, whimsical, offbeat, funny and forlorn. “Fluffy” is a cotton ball with the saddest eyes you’ve ever seen. They have been abandoned under a tree, and they will perish if they don’t find someone to love soon. Featuring Bassels’ deep connected vocals, an impressive sax solo by Rob Christian (Larnell Lewis), a moving story, and a few laughs to soften the angst. 

 

10. I Wanna Be Like You (The Monkey Song) (3:00) B minor, 130bpm, jazz, manouche-swing, vintage-pop

 

Powerful jazz vocals reminiscent of Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan featuring a dynamic and melodic scat trade between Bassels and swinging clarinet player Jacob Gorzhaltsan (The Jellyfish, Soulpepper). This cover of Louis Prima’s super swinging romp about a monkey wanting man’s “fire” has been rearranged by Bassels’ in her signature style with rhythmic guitar by Andy Mac and a halftime “boom chick” time change that delivers a show-stopping ending. 

Download track by track album credits here >

ABOUT DENIELLE BASSELS

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Toronto-born jazz vocalist and songwriter Denielle Bassels' career in music began when a dream sent her overseas to Lausanne, Switzerland, where she sought respite from a tumultuous era in her life. She arrived as an au pair (nanny) and left two years later as a professional jazz singer, singing in some of the country's top Jazz Clubs. 

 

"The little boy I looked after, Osvaldo, took lessons at a prestigious jazz school called "Ejma" and it was there that I met teachers and students who showed me the jazz caverns and music scene. They got me up to sing one night at a jam, and I was suddenly a jazz singer with my own combo doing shows. I never had any training, so it was a strange and exhilarating adventure."

 

Denielle yearned for something more, a deeper foundation to create. So after two years of working and performing in Europe, she returned to Canada and auditioned for Humber College's contemporary music program. There, she found her new band and was holding residencies at some of Toronto's finest jazz clubs before long. Her country may have changed, but the captivated audiences remained; Denielle quickly made a name for herself as a vocalist and performer. Still, she was looking for more and soon fell in love with songwriting. Her first original song, "Cool Cool Water," went on to win Grand Prize in the International John Lennon Song Competition, while later, five more originals went on to place in the finals. With these accolades, she was awarded grants from the Toronto Arts Council and the Canada Council of The Arts to fund her first full-length album, "What About Wool Wishbags," released in early 2017. The album hit #1 on iTunes and was voted the top 5 albums of 2017 by Jazz FM 91.1. Full of whimsy and charm, it is a story-laden volume of original music set in scenes of swing, indie, folk, and blues.

"What About Wool Wishbags" is one of the most memorable recordings I heard in 2017. Denielle is such a wonderful storyteller. The album deserves major kudos, and it should travel far." 

- Terry McElligott, JAZZFM.91

 

 In 2018 Denielle was a featured vocalist on the studio album "Muse" by Jaymz Bee's Tiki Collective, which debuted her original song "Wanderer" alongside performances by Lily Frost, Joanna Mojoko, and The Willows. She has since been touring across Ontario and Quebec and beyond, performing at renowned jazz clubs and headlining major jazz festivals with her unique brand of indie-swing backed by some of the country's finest musicians from Drew Jurecka (Jill Barber, Dua Lipa), Jacob Gorzhaltsan (Soulpepper, The Jellyfish) and Andrew Scott (The Intentions, Soulpepper). Denielle is building a reputation as a pleasantly unpredictable jazz singer with a twist.

 

On June 2nd, her mother's birthday, Denielle will release her long-awaited second studio album, "Little Bit a' Love," featuring her signature melange of folk, swing and blues chock full of Bassels' power and charisma, this time Denielle takes more of a producer role, diving deeper into songwriting and arranging and pulling the curtain on the secrets that sent her off to Switzerland in the first place. The Canadian CD launch will take place at Toronto's Lula Lounge in June.

“There is something about the imaginative way in which Denielle thinks, crafts and creates music that is undeniably her own.” - DANI ELWELL, JAZZFM.91

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