A Q&A With Campbell Jensen


Duo from Nashville, Tennessee….

What’s the title of your latest release, and what does it mean to you?
Thor: Our new record is called Turtle Cottage, and it’s named for the 250-year-old cottage in Northern Ireland where we recorded it. We wrote the songs together in the latter half of 2022 and really offer a glimpse into both our individual and collective experiences.
Ashley: We wanted the recording experience to be unique and removed from the distractions of daily life. I had stayed at Turtle Cottage with a friend who was renting it for a few months and knew I had to come back with Thor. We brought our songwriting to life amidst walks through shaded pathways lined with trees, visits from otters and curious hares all while looking out at an often sun-drenched loch. We hope that the calmness we felt and the beauty of the experience can be heard through the music when people listen to the record.

What was the hardest part about putting this release together, and why?
Thor: I think that aside from the logistical challenge of scheduling – aside from our musical partnership, we both are fairly busy independent musicians – this was a fairly painless experience. Writing the music only ever felt like a joy, and once we settled on the time and place the recording went very smoothly.
Ashley: I couldn’t agree more. Though to add on to what Thor has said, the hardest part in making this record was really an issue of practicality; having to balance spending time making a living with spending time and money making an album. At times it was a tight situation financially but we made it work because it’s what we love to do.

Who produced the release – what did they bring to it? If you produced it yourselves what do enjoy most about producing your own material?
Thor: We produced the album ourselves. We felt that this material is very straightforward – two people, two instruments and two voices – and the best way to produce it would be to be as prepared as possible. We spent a lot of time playing these songs before we ever sat in front of a microphone
Ashley: It was a lovely process working together with Thor. We have a great channel of communication between the two of us and as a result can get a lot done.

What do you want the listener to take away from listening to your music?
Ashley: I like to think of music as a soundtrack to life; as a way of channelling the way we feel into a tangible vibration. I hope that listeners can enjoy the music but also live their lives to the music. Fall in love to the music. Fall deeper in love. Feel adventurous. Feel empowered. Anything and everything.
Thor: I only hope that a listener can walk away feeling something. Words and music mean different things to every listener, and although these songs are stories, it’s up to each and every listener to interpret them for themselves.

How does a track normally come together? Can you tell us something about the process?
Thor: More often than not it always starts with a simple idea or theme and seeing where it goes. It’s very important to say “yes, and…”
Ashley: Yes, and…letting go of control. I’ve found that some of my favourite musical moments are when I’ve let go of trying to force it into a shape that I “think” it should be and let it come together organically building off the last idea voiced. That’s the give and take in writing with another person.

What band/artists have influenced you the most since you started this project, and why?
Ashley: I listen to a very wide range of music in general based on my move, but in the last few years I have leaned into a lot of old jazz, gypsy jazz and beautiful moody acoustic music. Thor introduced me to Leon Redbone’s music (which I love!) and have recently had Tony Rice’s Church Street Blues album on repeat. Other standbys include Beck, Bon Iver, Radiohead (and Thom Yorke’s solo stuff), Ella Fitzgerald, Django Reinhardt, Andrew Bird, Sufjan Stevens, and Ben Folds…The list kind of doesn’t end and is all over the place but you get the drift.


What countries would you like to tour? Are there any standout venues you’d like to play in?
Thor: I recently had the privilege to play at De Oosterpoort in The Netherlands with Postmodern Jukebox, and I’d simply love to play our music in that theatre. Absolutely gorgeous venue. And of course, Royal Albert Hall would be a dream come true.
Ashley: Royal Albert Hall is definitely a goal for venues on this side of the world. Coming from Nashville though I have to say it would be an absolute dream to headline the Ryman Auditorium. I’ve had the privilege of playing on the Roman stage more than a few times over the years whether with my father or the Opry, but to headline there with my/our own music would be a completely different thing. I’d really love to do more touring in Japan. I played a country music festival there in 2019 and had an absolute blast. The energy from music fans over there is something else. Plus ALLLL the food!

If you could pick one track for our readers to listen to in order to get a taste of your music, what would you pick, and why?
Thor: ‘Perfectly Alright’ is a favourite of mine. It’s a very simple song about the many facets of a partnership. Ashley plays a wonderful banjo part, and there’s 3 part harmony courtesy of a very special guest singer, Rachel Grace.
Ashley: For me, it’s a tie between ‘Perfectly Alright’ and ‘Run With You’. I love the optimism and the hope in the lyrics. It’s about feeling inspired to truly live right now in this moment because we are never guaranteed a tomorrow.

What ambitions do you have for the band/your career?
Thor: To continue to share our music for audiences near and far, and be able to keep on exploring music. Really see what we can create.
Ashley: Indeed. I consider it a great privilege to create and play music for a living. I hope to continue creating and exploring with Thor and consistently be working with musicians, like Thor, who inspire me to be better in life and in music.

Finally, as you leave the stage, what are your parting words?
Ashley: “See ya!”

For more info about Campbell Jensen, check out campbelljensenmusic.com


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