Nancy Druid, led by former Savannah music powerhouse (and former Connect A&E editor) Anna Chandler, was one of the most exciting bands I saw emerging when I first started here at Connect. I followed what they were up to pretty closely, and always looked forward to more. When I was first introduced to Anna/Nancy Druid’s latest project, a split single with Britt Scott and her most recent outfit Jezebel Heart, the draw was immediate.
Part of what makes this project so great is the fact that Scott and Chandler have a long history of friendship and collaboration. Both sides of this split single are pretty different from a stylistic standpoint, but that truly doesn’t matter. They set out to do this together, and it feels truly like a joint effort despite recording the songs with their separate bands.
The most obvious thing to say here is that both Chandler and Scott are incredibly great songwriters. They’ve collaborated in several different bands and professional ventures over the years, but this project actually allows them to display their unique strengths as writers despite it being a package deal. Jezebel Heart’s “Gone” sounds massive and emotional, and Scott’s poetic approach to lyrics actually pulls you in and makes you listen to what she’s saying.
That doesn’t take away from the production or musicality of the song, which is equally as wonderful. There’s a lot happening, but it’s not distracting or busy. The strings that compliment Scott and her band do the best job possible of being a tool for evoking the emotion of the vocal. It’s all-in-all a stellar production.
Chandler’s “Ace Basin” lives in a different world, opting to go for mid-gain indie rock guitars and a certain 90s alt-rock swagger. It’s a perfect companion to Scott’s song, with equally amazing production and arrangement. “Ace Basin” is the kind of song that you listen to and immediately want to hear more of, and it’s hopefully part of a continuation of what Chandler is doing with Nancy Druid.
Both songs were recorded and produced by Devin Smith at his Volition Studios, and sonically they feel very much in tune with each other. “Ace Basin” is as musically exciting and inventive as anything Chandler has done before, and it’s a continuation of the stamp she’s created for herself and imprinted on various bands and projects over the years.
I, for one, think there should be more of this Nancy Druid/Jezebel Heart collaboration in the future.