Eilen Jewell, ‘Needle and Thread’ [Exclusive Premiere]
Idaho native Eilen Jewell is an artist to keep your eyes on. The singer, known among her circles as the "Queen of the Minor Key," is giving The Boot readers an exclusive listen to her new song, "Needle and Thread."
Jewell's music has been compared to Neko Case's early endeavors, and fans may also hear a bit of Kacey Musgraves in her laid-back and effortless sound. Plus, she counts A-list actor Tom Hanks as a fan. The origins of "Needle and Thread" go all the way back to her childhood in Idaho.
""Needle and Thread" is about the mountain town where I spent a lot of time as a child: Idaho City, Idaho. It boasts a population of about 450 these days, though some maps list it as a ghost town," Jewell tells The Boot. "My family has some land up there. It's mostly timber, dirt and rocks. Both Idaho City and the land around it have certainly seen better days. It was once the capitol of the Northwest -- during the Gold Rush -- but the miners took most of the gold out of it, and then it burned down twice. We love it though."
With imagery of dusty taverns and freight trains and tales of heartache and restlessness, Jewell pays homage in her songs to the state that raised her. She recently moved back to Idaho after living on the coast for almost a decade, and "Needle and Thread" is the culmination of what she's learned.
"When I moved back home to Idaho, after being on the East Coast for nine years, it was really good to start spending more time there again," she adds. "I wanted the song to depict that place as accurately as possible. I also wanted to convey the simple fact that, unlike anything else, home can alternately mess us up and patch us up."
Jewell, who has opened for the likes of Loretta Lynn and Lucinda Williams, is preparing to release Sundown Over Ghost Town on May 26 on Signature Sounds Recordings. It's her fifth full-length studio album and the follow-up to 2011's critically acclaimed Queen of the Minor Key. It was recorded in Boise, Idaho, and features 12 original compositions that tell personal and poignant stories.
Even though Jewell is a proud mama of one, she is also fiercely devoted to her time on the road. She's trekking across the country through the beginning of September, then stepping foot in the Netherlands for a couple other appearances.
Listen to Eilen Jewell, "Needle and Thread":
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