Portland/New York avant indie duo John Heart Jackie released their second LP, Episodes, this January after a six year break. But the record features much more than just the two songwriters Jennie Wayne and Peter M. Murray, including contributions from members of Menomena, Blind Pilot, Starfucker, Radiation City, Pink Martini, The Helio Sequence and more.
Unsurprisingly, with the help of so many talented cooks in the kitchen, there was a little spill over when it came time to serve up Episodes. The result, a four song collection of B-Sides including two alternate versions from the LP. John Heart Jackie will be releasing Episodes B-Sides on June 22, celebrated with a performance at Mississippi Studios along with special guest Johanna Kunin. Ahead of the official release, Noise & Color is pleased to premiere the alternate piano version of JHJ’s tune “Mary Anne.”
Peter Murray shared some insight on how this version came about.
“This piano version was recorded by happenstance during my time working with Pink Martini. We were at Kung Fu Bakery in Southeast Portland during a session for one of their albums, and while waiting for someone to arrive Thomas (Lauderdale) suggested I record a song. So I tracked two takes of Mary Anne on his beautiful Steinway piano… It was such a nice take on the song but it was a little too bare bones. Enter our friend Lauren Jacobson. She arranged and recorded the strings in a single day. To me, the strings really make take the song to a place I never imagined. They give the song a gorgeous and sad quality that doesn’t exist on the album version.”