Acclaimed vocalist, trumpeter and composer Jennifer Hartswick has shared a lyric video for her new song “By the River.” The song is the latest single from Hartswick’s upcoming album, Something in the Water, which will be released on September 9th via Christian McBride’s Mack Avenue Music Group imprint, Brother Mister Productions.
Reprising her studio collaboration with renowned bassist and dear friend McBride, the highly sought-after singer and trumpeter interprets nine new tracks comprised of original repertoire and fresh arrangements of familiar songs alongside her core ensemble and featured guests. Co-written with guitarist and album producer Nick Cassarino, Something in the Water presents a tender portrait of the human condition, brimming with humor and vulnerability. “We wanted to celebrate the human experience,” says the Nashville-based artist. “We wanted to write about all facets of love and life and loss and gain. There’s definitely an arc of someone’s life in this album.”
Hartswick is a true working artist. For the past two decades, the small-town girl turned powerhouse professional has appeared at clubs and arenas throughout the world, in diverse ensembles and as a founding member of the Trey Anastasio Band (TAB); her buoyant expression and harmonic reflexes have become integral to the project’s signature sound. To her original music, Hartswick brings effervescing spontaneity and degrees of self-disclosure. Her songs intensify. She layers sound on sound, stacking horns, threading vocals and seeking opportunities for instrumental role-shifting and conversational trades. In addition to those from McBride and Cassarino, Something in the Water features contributions from longtime collaborators drummer Conor Elmes, vocalist Celisse Henderson and keyboardist Rob Marscher, as well as trombonists Natalie Cressman and Roy Agee, among other special guests.
Recorded at Sound Emporium alongside engineer Joe Costa, and mixed and mastered by Greg Magers and Dan Shike, respectively, Something in the Water came to life in Nashville following an impromptu writing retreat in New England. Hartswick and Cassarino spent a week and a half at a closed bed and breakfast in Vermont during the winter of 2021; there, they focused on composing the entire record in a controlled environment, with lyric input from songwriter Erin Boyd. “We’d write and cook and write and cook and laugh and cry and write and cook,” says Hartswick. “That was the purpose of the trip, to see if we could write an album.”
I wrote ‘By the River’ as a celebration of childhood. A celebration of the spirit of wonderment. I used to go out to the river and forests behind my house and sing Anita Baker songs as loud as I could! That’s where I cultivated who I would become.Jennifer Hartswick
Over the years, Hartswick’s sound has evolved and refined. She views her horn and her voice as different facets of a single expression that shapeshifts as she enters new phases of life and work. Something in the Water presents a snapshot of one moment’s present tense. She appreciates her listeners’ willingness to explore each discovery alongside her: “My music is blossoming. More life has been lived and evolution is happening. I hope people who listen do so with an open heart.”