Autumn Shade
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Autumn Shade

Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2003 | INDIE

Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2003
Band Folk Avant-garde


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Tulsa, Oklahoma native Jes Leneé’s prematurely world-weary and timeworn vocals may betray a maturity beyond her years, but they also possess a damaged, little-girl-lost quality that suffuses her songcraft with a ghostlike, almost spooky ambience. Her lyrics, however cryptic and ambiguous, are nonetheless conveyed with an anguished candor that reinforces the music’s supernatural affectations, and while she frequently sacrifices profundity for abstraction, Leneé’s nebulous lyrics suit the tone of the music, which has a distinctly antiquated flavor to it. Her voice is expressive, but conversely yearns to convey something inexpressible, as on the beautiful and somewhat distressing “Red,” with its simple yet devastating melody and ominous lyrics.

Ezra Moon, Leneé’s debut release under the name Autumn Shade, illustrates the manner in which an album’s whole dynamic can be altered entirely by its production, and in keeping with her band’s moniker, there is an autumnal, almost gothic quality to these pieces, redolent of gray skies, wet leaves, and wood-smoke haze. The record’s opening instrumental, “Sparrow,” features a delicate piano figure that, with its slightly out-of-tune character suggestive of a creaky upright piano from an Old West saloon, ultimately dematerializes and dissipates as if into a cloud of dust motes. Leneé’s lyrics and plaintive, minor-key chord progressions convey a wistful sense of melancholy that, coupled with the record’s atmosphere, pack an additional emotional wallop. Ornate piano melodies are a testament to Leneé’s background as a classically trained musician and add a subtle hint of color to a generally sepia-toned affair.

Reduced to their constituent elements, which generally include little more than vocals, guitar, and piano, with the occasional violin and hammered dulcimer flourish, the frugal arrangements of these tracks are fairly straightforward. But the filigree production from Derick Snow infuses the music with something spectral and sometimes icy cold. Snow’s production also serves to emphasize the broad dynamic range of the instruments. This technique is manifest on the incredibly haunting “Spanish Willow,” which features a vibrant and animated acoustic guitar line that makes Leneé’s subtly reverbed vocals sound even more spectral and otherworldly, as if those of an apparition beckoning from beyond this mortal coil. Other shorter, more piano-driven tracks act as interludes that showcase the singer’s impressive dexterity on the keys.

Stark as these pieces are, they make amazing use of space; in between guitar strums or the deftly keyed notes of a piano we find ourselves paying attention to the lingering ambience, which seems informed by an earthy resonance. As if to even further emphasize the importance of space, atmosphere, and the visual aspects of Autumn Shade’s music, Snow doubles as a live painter on stage. On the whole, Ezra Moon is an exercise in subtlety. Trim and succinct, these 12 tracks showcase the abilities of a talented, budding songwriter, and leave us waiting in earnest for more.

1. Sparrow 2. Home 3. Lilacglass 4. Violet 5. River 6. Seagarden 7. Spanish Willow 8. Fly Away 9. Red 10. Evelyn Star 11. Ezra Moon 12. Oak Tree
by Olskooly -

Occupying an avant-rock world triangulated between the chilly post-rock modernism of Rachel's, Lisa Germano's emotionally raw vocal style and keening violin, and the childlike wonder of Joanna Newsom, the debut album by Autumn Shade is an intriguing, often engrossing listen. The centerpiece of Autumn Shade is Jes Leneé, a Tulsa-based instrumental prodigy whose piano and acoustic guitar are at the root of the songs. Violin, dulcimer, percussion and other instruments fade in and out of the mix underneath Leneé's instantly attractive vocals, a mixture of high-register wails and a less ethereal low register that strongly recalls Germano's sadder-but-wiser vocal persona. The lyrics are an often abstruse metaphorical salad that rarely press a literal picture onto the listener but remain emotionally effective through Leneé's skillful delivery and the melodic strength of the folk and country-tinged tunes. (The title track in particular is an absolute heartbreaker.) Many albums in what's been dubbed the "new weird folk" scene are so evanescent that they dissolve upon close listening, but Autumn Shade's blend of gothic atmospheres (in the sense of both Flannery O'Connor and 4AD Records) and straightforward tunefulness makes it a far more satisfying album than most. ~ Stewart Mason, All Music Guide -

Autumn Shade’s Ezra Moon, songwriter and classically trained pianist Jes Lenee’s second full-length album, is an extraordinary mix of folk, rock and classical influences, the songs minimally couched and passionately sung against a backdrop of piano and violin. Lenee has a hushed childlike voice, which, at times, can flare up into a passionate banshee wail. She can sound a little like Lisa Germano, that is, cool and lovely and crazily intense, yet the musical backing sets her apart. Listen to how ripples and waves of cascading piano play tag with stern, 20th century classical violin tones in the title track, and how Lenee’s voice darts in and out of complexity, like bird’s song magically woven into a string quartet sonata. She is nakedly vulnerable in the melancholy “Lilacgrass”, soft notes worn, bent, even broken, by the sheer emotional heft of the piece. There’s a touch of Appalachian vibrato here, a hint of blues-born wildness that gives the song a jolt. But Lenee is no primitive, the song ends in a precise gavotte of piano, as civilized and complex as the verse was raw and real. -

Autumn Shade is the pseudonym of Oklahoma’s Jes Lenee, a songwriter who her label describes as a “classically-trained piano prodigy”, who was winning songwriting awards at age eleven. Some years later, Autumn Shade self-released a debut EP, though it’s taken some five years after starting the project off, for Lenee to finally deliver a follow-up release in the shape of the utterly haunting Ezra Moon. Though Lenee’s primary tools as a singer/songwriter are the piano and acoustic guitar, one of the central roles on the album goes to the otherworldly, overcast atmospherics that dominate the productions. The lo-fi dramatics of ‘Red’ recall CocoRosie, or even bring to mind Tom Waits in terms of both production and delivery. It’s beautiful, creepy stuff. Fans of Hope Sandoval’s eerie intonations, Diane Cluck’s intimately personal recordings, or those of you still besotted with the mournful beauty of Marissa Nadler’s recent album, should get their ears around this one without delay. Recommended. -

Imagine someone playing a piano on an empty stage in the middle of cave and you have the initial concept of Sparrow that quickly turns into a haunted windswept land. Guitar follows with organic sounds morphing with dreamy psychedelic vocals.

The piano appears again in "Lilacglass" and quickly melts away, providing a certain clarity between the vocal haze and then the music turns breathlessly beautiful in Violet which I found to be interesting on the emotional level and this album delves into emotional complexity, revealing beauty in love and loss.

Jes Lenee's voice wanders through dreamy worlds of piano, violin and folk-inspired guitar. Through a merging of modalities, she creates a completely unique sound that sounds hauntingly familiar to the heart. The album ends as it begins and the way this album is arranged shows an advanced sense of artistic excellence.

~The Rebecca Review - The Rebecca Review


Grandfather's Attic- 2003 (self released)
Ezra Moon - 2007 (Strange Attractors Audio House)
Lady in the Forest: Live- 2008 (self released)
Isabelle Has Wings- 2013 (self released)
Frankincense and Myrrh- Coming Soon



About Autumn Shade:

Jes Lenee'- songwriter. guitarist. pianist. banjo player. accordionist. bird watcher.

Derick Snow- live painter. facial expressionist.

Sharla Ember- harmonizer. hammered dulcimer player. violinist. cookie baker.

Nathan Wright- harmonizer. banjo player. accordionist. xylophone guy. plays everything really.

Autumn Shade was established in 2003 by singer songwriter Jes Lenee'. She created a band leaning upon the raw, image-filled sounds culled from her travels and thoughts. The concepts of intricate melody and nature immediately began the center of the band and it grew to provide into a cohesive form; something powerful that feels beautifully weathered and timeless. The band grew from playing private shows with an acoustic guitar, haunting vocals and hand drums for friends to a larger eclectic sound of 3 part harmonies, melodic strings, gypsy accordion, and eerie banjo, that is still able to remain in that incredibly intimate atmosphere the band so well captures. Since its beginning Autumn Shade has thrived on public performances, with intensely eclectic sounds blended nicely by the band's live painter, performance artist, Derick Snow. Autumn Shade has self released 3 albums and 1 album with the label Strange Attractors Audio House, located in Portland, OR. (

About Jes Lenee'
As a young girl she began writing music on piano and guitar in the Midwestern U.S. At seventeen, Jes found the underground poetry readings and art creation gatherings; it was an incredible experience which caused her to follow the path of progress. After the release of her first full album, Ezra Moon, she began traveling around the world as a nomad gathering stories and inspiration for her next album, Isabelle Has Wings which was released in 2013. Her singing has been described as haunting and soothingly beautiful, compared by others to Marissa Nadler and Arborea. On a live stage, she'll sometimes change her songs drastically, spontaneously going into the emotional and passionate spirit of the music she's grasped, but always retaining the true genius of her work. In addition to Ezra Moon and Isabelle Has Wings, Jes received high marks for her 2 EP's Grandfather's Attic and Lady in the Forest, and work co-directing and scoring the film, Train Tracks. Jes has happily gained inspirations in her surrounding Ozark nature, poetry, love and a worldly idea found in traveling the globe.

About the Full Length Albums:
Ezra Moon is the second release for Autumn Shade and the first album under the Strange Attractors Audio House label. The album is a culmination of a journey through nature, spirituality, love, and imagination found though traveling the world in the last few years. It takes us all on an intimate journey through lyrics heavy in emotional sub-text and wonderful musical landscapes found in some far off land of imagination; featuring eclectic melodies of distant violins, deep drums, a heartfelt hammered-dulcimer and moody clarinets. Written and recorded around the world and in a few bedrooms, this is an album of changes, seasons, hardships, joys and strength; ready to bare itself before the world.

Isabelle Has Wings is the fourth release- "For much of the disc the crystalline voice of Lenee is crystaline and intertwined by ancient magic folk -  this album has invested more vivid colors, even solar ("Rainbows", "Jasper", "Frog"), but with a sweet melancholy at the bottom, and filtered memories of the European tour after the first album ("Blue Umbrella (Paris Istanbul +)"), an experience that must somehow makes her introject hints of decadent sophistication from Central European orchestra (particularly evident in the conclusive "Marionette"). ~ taken from an Italian review at (

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