A new Jump, Little Children album will drop on September 14, 2018. The band will also launch a multi-city tour throughout the Southeast, major cities of the Northeast, and Chicago this Fall. Visit www.jumplittlechildren.com for tickets, and follow their adventures @jumplittlechildren on both Facebook and Instagram.
The decision to record again was made after several successful “reunion” tours, with many of their shows selling out in minutes. Members Evan Bivins, Matt Bivins, Jay Clifford, Jonathan Gray, and Ward Williams realized it wasn’t enough to gather occasionally; they’d missed each other and their enthusiastic fanbase. A PledgeMusic campaign began in January 2018 to fund their 5th studio album and reached over 100% of its goal by April. The project, featuring behind-the-scenes sneak peeks, gifts from the band’s archive, and special merchandise, is still live at: https://www.pledgemusic.com/jump-little-children
Ten years of life experiences have given substance and texture to the twelve newest Jump, Little Children songs. Lead singer and songwriter Jay Clifford says that the new album’s title track "Sparrow" speaks to the concept of returning to what you love. Sparrow is not a throwback album in any way, though loyal listeners will hear nods to the band’s Celtic music origins, the heavier distortions of Magazine, orchestrated and dark elements of Vertigo and the loops and electronic noises found on Between the Dim and the Dark.
The band is ever-grateful to its fans, a true community that remained friends and showed up in full force when asked to help fund the album. "We've been in a constant state of surprise," says multi-instrumentalist Matthew Bivins, "Surprised that the fans were still ready and waiting for our return after ten years. Surprised that they’ve continued to attend shows and connect with us online. Surprised that they so enthusiastically rallied behind this new album. We love surprises, and we love our fans. We truly would and could not be doing this if it weren't for them."
The question is whether this new music will attract new fans. In a musical landscape that now includes the anthemic acoustic ballads of The Lumineers, the accordion and flute pop of The Decemberists and banjo-based punk of Mumford and Sons, will Jump, Little Children's once left-of-center art pop appeal to a generally more eclectic taste? The band hopes so, confident they’ve created something for every era of Jump fan with Sparrow.
"It's definitely a 'listening album'," says Ward Williams, who plays cello and guitar. "There are songs that will fit in between Portugal. The Man and St. Vincent in a Spotify playlist. But as a whole it has an arc to it, a specific feeling from start to finish. Starts off a little frenetic, settles into a 'vibe', gets a little weird for a minute, and ends with something so pretty and…hopeful".
This "vibe" is in great part due to expert production from longtime collaborator Josh Kaler (Heather Nova, Paris Monster, Matthew Perryman Jones), one of the band's dearest friends and favorite musicians. Josh and Jay Clifford formed the production studio Hello Telescope in the mid-2000s; the two musicians were business partners until Kaler relocated to Nashville. There, he teamed up with Owen Biddle (Mister Barrington), a fellow Berklee alum, former member of The Roots and general wiz at all things that beep and bloop. The majority of the album was produced by Kaler and Biddle, with additional production provided by friend Jake Sinclair (Weezer, Sia, Panic at the Disco) in LA, and hometown wunderkind Wolfgang Zimmerman (Susto, Band of Horses) in Charleston, SC.
Jump, Little Children is the result of 90s-era art school kids from Winston-Salem, NC who lived for small stints in Boston and Ireland before settling into Charleston, SC. Known for their eclectic mix of musical influences from ethereal chamber pop to guitar driven alt-rock along with high-energy live shows, they toured extensively to build a grass-roots following of devoted fans across the country. They released 4 studio albums (The Licorice Tea Demos - 1995, Magazine - 1998, Vertigo - 2001, Between the Dim & the Dark - 2004), 2 EPs (Buzz - 1997, Between the Glow & the Light - 2005) 1 compilation of early material (The Early Years, Volume 1 - 2001) and a live double-album of their final performances (Live at the Dock Street Theatre - 2006). After over a decade of touring and recording they announced an indefinite hiatus in 2005, which ended in 2015. In those ten years the members focused on countless creative pursuits:
The Bivins Brothers' first post-Jump project was Cabaret Kiki, a neo-cabaret variety show with music. Kiki featured some of Charleston’s finest musicians: Bill Carson, Cary Ann Hearst (of Shovels and Rope), Nathan Koci, Ash Hopkins, Michael Flynn (of Slowrunner) along with dancers from Charleston Ballet Theater and many other talented writers, technicians and collaborators. The Bivins then moved to Chicago, IL. Matt has been performing mostly as a stage actor, sound designer, and accessibility designer in the Chicago theater scene: The House, Strawdog, City Lit, and Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre. Evan has composed music for the Giordano Dance Company and performed and recorded with various artists (Duncan Sheik, Cary Ann Hearst, Rachel Ries, Mar Caribe, Grit & the Double Knit, Andy Wagner).
Jay released two solo records (Driving Blind - 2007, Silver Tomb for the Kingfisher - 2012) and founded his own studio, Hello Telescope, where he has produced records for artists such as Heather Nova and William Fitzsimmons. Jay has also collaborated with the Colorado Symphony orchestrating for artists like Ingrid Michaelson, Amos Lee and Ariel Pink for their Red Rocks concert series.
Jonathan has toured with various artists (Howie Day, William Fitzsimmons, Slow Runner, Cordovas, Post Cobra, Bill Carson, Josh Hoge, Crowfield). For the past several years he has taught music in the Western NC mountains at the Green River Preserve.
Ward lives outside New York City and has toured with various artists (Sara Bareilles, Alicia Witt, Vienna Teng, Brandi Carlisle among others). He’s frequently spotted on Broadway stages, most notably performing music for Waitress: The Musical and The Band’s Visit.