After two independent albums, Puer Dolor and Up Go The Arms, Montreal singer-songwriter Jason Bajada has joined MapleMusic Recordings for the release of his third album Loveshit. Though the first two albums earned him accolades as one of Montreal’s best songwriters, listeners will be privy to Bajada’s best work yet with Loveshit. “This really does feel like a first record because the other ones were never quite what I was looking for. With this one we nailed it,” says Bajada. “I’m happy with what comes out of the speakers now.”
A heartfelt portrait of a rollercoaster relationship and its demise, the album showcases Bajada’s knack for dealing in dark subject matter, while delivering catchy pop melodies. Indeed, music blog More Nights notes that his live show is “full of sad songs, but somehow always manages to put a smile on my face.” These mesmerizing performances have landed him sold-out shows, headlining slots in Berlin and the opening spot on a tour with Quebec superstars Dumas and Charlebois, including two nights at famed Paris venues La Cigale and Le Bataclan.
“Ten Days in Miami,” the first single, and first song written for the album, came into being during a particularly desperate time – “I was sitting at my coffee table writing and crying,” Bajada says – but has a breezy feel that contrasts with lyrics like “I don’t blink when I look at you / ‘Cause I can’t let you go.”
Bajada calls his writing process “the chase for the perfect pop song,” and it’s a hunt that sees him touching on a plethora of genres and moods – elements that are tied together through the common thematic thread of one relationship’s heartbreak, and Bajada’s skilled songcraft. There’s the upbeat bounce and hand claps of “Hard Not To Quit,” and the stripped-down melancholy of “Sad Song About You #2.” Bittersweet boy-girl harmonies on “Home’s Still Your Bones” set the scene for what Bajada calls “a straightforward twee pop song.” “Tired Of Talking” was written after some ribbing from a friend who told him to create something that would inspire people to sing along. “Challenge is on!” Bajada said – and the result was the final track penned for the album.
Loveshit was recorded with production duo Les Troublemakers, one half of which happened to be a childhood friend of Bajada’s. With shared musical references, and the gear needed to get the sound Bajada was looking for, Les Troublemakers were a perfect fit. They brought Bajada into the studio when “things were still very emotional,” and channeled that energy into creating a searingly honest album.
Despite the fact that the songs were conceived in various cities across the continent, including Halifax and Los Angeles, the album is very much intertwined with Montreal. It was recorded at Troublemakers Studio in Montreal and includes a cover of “You Are A Runner (And I Am My Father’s Son)” by fellow Montrealers Wolf Parade. Bajada will also be heading out on tour as the opener for Montreal songstress Martha Wainwright in December. He credits the city’s other inhabitants with inspiring his songwriting (the strength of which earned him a place as a finalist in the International Songwriting Competition, judged by artists like Tom Waits, Robert Smith, Brian Wilson and Isaac Brock) as well. “When you have those kinds of quality musicians in your backyard, there’s a challenge there. It’s keeps you on your toes.” Bajada has risen to the challenge and then some with Loveshit, a collection of ten infectious songs that spin heartbreak into musical bliss.