Joe Chester has just released his sixth album, Jupiter’s Wife, through Bohemia Records. It’s another sublime work from one of our most underappreciated songwriters.
Ostensibly examining the dissolution of marriage, and the loss of faith that follows, it’s a record of layers, full of references to folklore, religion, drama and mythology.
Like a lot of Chester’s work, its a record that takes a few listens to really reveal itself. Often, you’ll find yourself down an unexpected wormhole that the Dubliner has opened up for you, such as unpicking the story of Hilton Edwards and Michael Mac Liammoir.
You can read my review if you pick up a copy of today’s Sunday Times Culture magazine (May 3rd).
Three years ago, I spoke with Joe on the eve of the release of his previous album, The Easter Vigil, and he spoke about his modest ambitions for that rather beautiful record. “I just want people to hear it,” he told me at the time.
Releasing his new album in the midst of a pandemic makes it that bit more difficult to realise even that ambition. There is no in-store promotional appearances, no live gigs to promote the record off the back of, and limited opportunities to promote through the media.
To that end, Chester and his wife (and fellow A Lazarus Soul bandmate) Julie Bienvenu have released this beautiful live film of performances of five tracks from the new album and one from The Easter Vigil. Enjoy.