Has this ever happened to you? You put on a CD. After a while, you leave the room, then come back in and are surprised to hear a totally different artist. But then you realize it’s the same CD, the same artist. You just caught something in the vocal—wait is that Olivia Newton John? A folk style turned bluesy guitar? Whatever it was, its universal quality took you somewhere else. That’s the feeling I get listening to Jaynee Thorne’s new—and first—CD, I’ll Meet You There.
Jaynee isn’t new to LA’s music scene. She hosts house concerts and sings back up with Severin Browne and The Tribe. In full disclosure, she has recently joined my group, Rewind. But her career in the film and television industry kept her from making music her priority—until now. Once the stars aligned, this CD project went straight to the top of Jaynee’s bucket list.
Music was in Jaynee’s genes. Her mother’s father was a hit songwriter in the 1920s, and her father’s mother was an opera singer. Early influencers were the Beatles and then Joni Mitchell. “They awoke something in me,” says Jaynee. At 10, she picked up the guitar and at 12 wrote her first song. A publishing deal was offered at age 17, but circumstances didn’t move her in that direction.
“When I decided to make the CD two years ago,” says Jaynee, “I only had about six or seven songs, even though I’d been studying songwriting for years.” The final push for Jaynee was Summer Songs – the songwriting community led by Penny Nichols. “Penny taught me that everyone has a voice. She gave me the permission I needed.” With that, Jaynee realized she wanted to take the journey of creating something from nothing—and put it in physical form where it could become its own thing, its own entity.
“I decided to collect all the songs I thought were good, or the ones that meant something to me. Some are commercial. Some aren’t.” Choosing the songs for this CD, a whopping 16 tracks, was a personal journey for Jaynee. Having battled an eating disorder, the songs provided her some healing energy. That became the basis of the album. The CD title, I’ll Meet You There, is about seeing people on this planet in the highest way. “Love, god, support," says Jaynee. "It’s here for all of us.” One of the tracks, “The Truth Is,” supports that: The truth is, love is all around.
At the helm of producing the CD was Ed Tree. Although Ed has helped many in the music community with their first CD, the process was new and challenging for Jaynee. “I never understood what it took to produce an album. And sometimes I experienced songs very deeply, they were so personal.” Sometimes, on the drive over to Ed’s, Jaynee would question herself. “What am I doing?” I would ask myself. “Why am I doing this? Who am I fooling?” But Ed offered her some sage advice to get through those challenging days. He simply said, “Honor the work.” And that’s just what Jaynee did—offering up a rich variety of styles and instrumentations that are soothing, thoughtful and musically engaging.
Moving forward, Jaynee would love to license the music to film and television or a recording artist. In fact, many of the songs are perfect for music syncing. "Dancing Under Raindrops" has an upbeat toe tapping energy. "Everybody Loves to Hate LA" could support just about any LA traffic or mood scene. "Lost in a Memory" plays soft and gentle – remembering a time 'when your lips rhymed with mine.' Jaynee's songs can easily become worm songs. And of course, as you can only do in the digital world, this backup singer gets to back up herself on the vocals.
But for the moment, Jaynee is just putting one foot in front of the other. “If it’s meant to be, it will. If it’s not, it won’t.” She has come full circle. She even sent a CD to the man who offered her a deal at age 17. “The truth is, and the beauty of this album for me is, even if I’d made an album as a kid, it wouldn’t be the album I’ve made now. The depth of the songs wouldn’t be there. The young adult doesn’t have the scars of life to do anything. You’re too young.” I think we can all relate to that.
One of her tracks is “Love Will Find Me.” It seems that music found Jaynee. Congratulations, Jaynee. By honoring the work, you’ve found your way home.