News

News

London singer records love song for heavenly Ojai

To listen to “Ojai,” go to https://honeygentry.bandcamp.com/track/ojai

 

web provided Honey Gentry

Photo provided

Honey Gentry

 

Perry Van Houten, Ojai Valley News senior reporter

A London-based singer-songwriter has included a song about Ojai on her debut album, set for release next month.

“H.G.,” due Sept. 22, is the first full-length album from Honey Gentry.

Written between October 2019 and May 2020, the album contains nine songs that reflect on love and heartache. “Ojai” personifies the town and landscape as a long-lost lover, Gentry told the Ojai Valley News. “It’s about connecting with yourself to find out what your heart wants.”

Gentry fell in love with Ojai during her first visit in 2017. “Ojai was the first place I ever woke up on Californian soil after years of wanting to visit,” she said. “I was so enamored with the natural beauty of its surroundings and the fresh air, and the laid-back energy of the town.”

The artwork for her first single as Honey Gentry, “Heaven, California,” was a photograph she took in Ojai.

Ojai was a world away from Gentry’s suburban life back home in London, “and exactly what I had imagined when I dreamt of California. I would absolutely love to return someday, and the longing to come back is part of what inspired the song,” she said.

Gentry stayed in Mira Monte during her first visit to the valley, and said she immediately felt at peace. “Fitting that, I then discovered Ojai was an International City of Peace,” she said. “That very much aligned with my personal philosophy in my wider life, and I knew I was somewhere really special.”

What does she tell friends back in London about Ojai? “It’s the city of peace in name and nature,” she said.

web Screen Shot 2020 08 21 at 10.57.40 AM copy

 

“H.G.” was written and produced entirely alone at home, at night, during the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown in  the United Kingdom. Time normally spent commuting to and from work was spent instead on recording the album. “I felt a lot more reflective on the past, and it was a good time to think about how grateful I am for the experiences I’ve had so far in life, like being lucky enough to have spent time somewhere as beautiful as California,” Gentry said.

While other aspects of life were made more challenging and anxious by the lockdown, “I’m rather an insular person and I get lost in my thoughts a lot, so I think I may have fared a little better than the extroverts this year,” Gentry said. “This album is actually only in existence because of that extra time and space to journey inward, and that’s one positive I’ll take from 2020,”

Gentry cites as major influences Stevie Nicks, Hope Sandoval, Lana Del Rey, Tori Amos, Gwen Stefani, The Mamas and the Papas, Janis Ian, Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Kate Bush, Roberta Flack, Amy Winehouse, Minnie Riperton, Jeff Buckley, Leonard Cohen and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

In describing Gentry’s music, British music journalism website New Musical Express wrote, “The rising singer-songwriter making elegantly sad pop to break your heart.”

“Ojai” has been described as dreamy, romantic and ethereal, with the lyrics, “Will you come back to Ojai?” repeated at the end of the song. To listen to “Ojai,” go to https://honeygentry.bandcamp.com/track/ojai

“H.G.” will be released digitally Sept. 22 (Gentry’s birthday) with a limited edition vinyl release available now by pre-order.

For more information, visit www.honeygentry.com.

 

Not a subscriber?  choose your subscription plan.