Family, friends, time, love. These are all important things we all care deeply about and, in some cases, yearn to have which is why when these timeless themes are the subject of a song we often feel a deep personal connection with the track. Edward & Jane thrive on this with their these themes being effortlessly woven into their music like a fine silk. Their ability to write about the human condition in a way that everyone can relate to is something that should be celebrated and treasured.
The six piece band from Chattanooga, Tennessee have toured for over three years across the USA creating shows where everybody plays apart and feels that they belong at their shows. Through this they’ve developed their sound focusing on an elegant storytelling nature, share the stage with the likes of Mandolin Orange, Jon Foreman, Elenowen, Birdtalker, and Aaron Lee Tasjan. However on this extensive tour they did come to the realisation of something that changed the way they wrote their music.
“Leaving our Ohio family behind was difficult for us. But we learned that you can find family wherever you are. All you have to do is look around and show a little love,” explains Edward & Jane on how they found themselves. “We began to understand that family is important and no matter who it is that makes up your family, you ought not take them for granted. Family is all we have.”
This lead the name of their EP As Family We Gather, that also became almost a mantra for the band as well. On top of that, almost as if it were meant to be, the EP was funded by their music family. Their fans. This special community they built up on the road allowed the band to get the funds to create this EP that celebrated their new family, wanting it bring people together in a culture that is continually driving people apart.
This focus on their family and friends continued into 2018 with tracks like Hold Your Own. With lyrics that are pure poetry telling the story of a friend of there’s who always tackled every obstacle life through at her and came out the other end stronger. Despite all adversities she never stopped moving forward and inspired this anthem about how we must all find the strength to carry on and how we will become stronger because of it.
With this track you can pick out their love for storytelling which stems from their love of classic artists such as Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers whilst also containing the classic rock sound along with elements of gospel choirs that is more prominent in their other track Take Me With You.
Then there are tracks like More the focus on showing our gratitude to the people who helped us become who we are today. “We are who we are because of the people who raised us–the care we received, or lack thereof in our upbringing,” Timothy Edward Carpenter (Edward of the Edward & Jane) explains recalling the meaning of the track. However your childhood experience, you are who you are much to the credit of your mother and father. You clench tightly to their best qualities, and avoid their worst, but in my experience the apple never falls far from the tree. Everyone has parents. Everyone can understand this. “More” is an attempt to show our deep gratitude for those who raised us into the people we are today, for better or worse.”
All these tracks were featured in their sophomore EP Too Early To Tell that has a classic feel to it that will take you back decades. The music takes you away from the modern world and transports you a place where you can escape your problems and enjoy the pleasurable music that they’ve offered you. With heartbreaking ballads, empowering anthems and lyrics that are pure poetry it is hard not to find yourself yearning for more. It is just timeless.
We caught up with Edward & Jane ahead of their EP release to chat about their music, life on the road, family and what their ideal live performance would be.
The two leads of the band, Edward & Jane Carpenter, are obviously married but when was it the two of you realised that you could write songs and sing beautifully together?
We grew up together in church and met years later in a youth group praise team. Jane played piano and I played electric guitar primarily. A few of us started a band during our senior year of high school and began playing small clubs and churches. That band fizzled out as we left for college and that is when Jane and I decided we wanted to start writing some songs together. We were heavily inspired by the Civil Wars and the Head and the Heart and had no intention of starting a large band. We’ve been singing together for about 8 years now, 4 of which have been with Edward & Jane.
Speaking of writing songs, your most recent tracks have been revolving around issues that effect a lot of people such as overcoming adversity and lovers departing from one another. Is this something you’ve continued to look at with Too Early To Tell?
Too Early to Tell came out of a major transitionary time for us. Moving from our hometown in Cincinnati, OH to Chattanooga TN was not an easy decision for us. However, with the rest of the band living down in Tennessee, we knew it was the right decision. Once we got to Tennessee and began rehearsing some old material with the band, it wasn’t long before we began writing new material. We began to pull from what we knew. Stories of change and growing pain began to well up in us and from that came Too Early to Tell.
After the release of your EP As Family We Gather was there anything you wanted to do differently with To Early To Tell that you hadn’t done previously?
We hope to do a longer tour with these songs than our previous tours. We hope to grow with each release, and we definitely believe we have grown from this project. We have never released a true music video and we have plans to release a music video from one of the songs on this record.
Many people have described you as classic with some comparing you to a lot of classic artists like Fleetwood Mac, Simon & Garfunkel and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Do you count any of these artists as your influences?
Most definitely. These artists are owed much credit for our sound and narrative lyrical style. Stevie Nicks is one of Jane’s biggest influences, and Tom Petty has early-on left an impression on my heart that won’t soon fade.
You guys have toured extensively over the past three years, so what’s the craziest thing you guys have experienced or seen whilst out on the road?
On our way back to the states from our last Canadian tour our van brokedown at about 3 a.m. in the winter. This was one of our first times in Canada and we were not at all prepared for this experience. To our surprise, a couple of Skandinavian guys with a tow truck came to our rescue. You can find some of these moments captured in our documentary “Gather” by filmmaker Nikolas Oliverio. It was a somewhat despairing experience, but no matter how frustrating, we always have each other in the down times. Those are the trial-some moments that shape you while on the road. We often look back and laugh about these kind of memories now.
With all these live performances what would be your ideal live show? Where’s the venue? How would you start and end the show? What would you do after?
Our dream is to sell out The Ryman in Nashville one day. We’d love to bring out strings (as heard on the record) and a large choir (Take Me With You) to sing and play with us. That venue has meant a lot to us growing up both in attending shows there and in seeing our greatest inspirations play there. It is a magical place and I’m sure if we were ever afforded the opportunity, the only thing we could do after is open a nice bottle of whiskey and raise a toast to one another in the afterglow of the night.
Finally who are the artists on your radar? Who are you “Counting In”?
Our favorite up-and-coming artists are: Birdtalker, Family & Friends, Cereus Bright, and Corey Kilgannon. Check them out, you won’t regret it!