With a palette that ranges in taste from Bonnie Raitt to Bonnie “Prince” Billy, singer/songwriter Dylan Jane has quite a deep well to draw from when it comes to her own music. It’s a range of depth and breadth that comes through easily on “From An Island,” her third album, out this week via Bandcamp.
“I think I’ve grown a lot as a songwriter,” Jane, who is based in Philadelphia, says in a recent phone interview. “Some of these songs are older, too, so there’s kind of a big jump. I think I’ve just grown in my knowledge and everything that goes with it, and I’ve learned from my mistakes.”
In advance of the album’s Oct. 22 release, you can hear the “From An Island” track “Dyin’ Daisy” today exclusively at Highway 81 Revisited.
Jane has taken a circuitous route to both her current hometown as well as her life as a musician. She explains that she was a drummer while she was growing up in Maryland, playing in “this really heavy rock band.”
Then she moved to Bloomsburg, Pa., “and kind of stopped playing drums” and sold her kit in order to buy a car. In college, she picked up the guitar, “my brother showed me a few things,” and that was that – “I never sold it for a car,” she says of the guitar.
Jane made her debut with 2012’s “Paint, Clay, and Other Mediums” in 2012. After its release, she started the Turning Leaves – who are credited on the new album – “a name meant to feature the collective of friends, studio musicians and bandmates,” as she explains in the bio on her official website.
Last fall, she released “The Songbook Project: Chapter One” and launched her first tour. Also in 2013, she was voted Artist of the Month for December by Deli Magazine in Philadelphia and earned Artist of the Month honors from MyRuralRadio.com, a York, Pa.-based Internet radio station.
Jane worked with producer Bret Alexander at his Saturation Acres studio in Dupont, Pa., for “Paint” and “From An Island.” Asked how she initially connected with Alexander, she says, with a laugh, “I just got lucky I guess.” She credits Alexander, known for his longtime membership in The Badlees, with helping guide her through the creation of the album, which she called “a long process.”
“From An Island” features 12 different musicians.
“I think a lot of the songs have a lot of space in them, so we brought them in to fill it up with some really cool melodies and ideas,” Jane explains. She notes the important contributions of Steve Gilliland “who does a lot of projects and really helped me develop my sound” (he produced her debut album, as well), and A.J. Jump, whom she calls a “fantastic drummer.”
Jane moved to Philadelphia about three years ago and has performed there at venues like The Grape Room in Manayunk (she returns on Nov. 22), Fergie’s Pub (she played there Saturday) and Steel City Coffeehouse in nearby Phoenixville.
“I think there’s lots of different pockets of different genres” in Philly, she says. “West Philly has this pretty big punk scene. Northern Liberties is kind of up-and-coming so there a lot of great bands there.
“In Philadelphia, there are just so many great bands. And a lot of competition, if you want to look at it that way,” she says.
With “From An Island” officially hitting Bandcamp on Wednesday, Jane has a full slate of performances scheduled, including at Turkey Hill Brewing Co. in Bloomsburg (Oct. 23), Chaplin’s in Spring City near Philadelphia (Oct. 24), The Bitter End in New York City (Oct. 29), Radio Bean in Burlington, Vt. (Nov. 7), The Red Door in Portsmouth, N.H. (Nov. 10) and the aforementioned Grape Room on Nov. 22.