Over the past half decade or so, singer-songwriter Halie Loren has built an international reputation as a top-notch jazz chanteuse — an expert vocalist who is as comfortable sinking into the sultry croon of a classic like “My Funny Valentine” as she is reinterpreting a ’60s pop ditty like “Happy Together.” The Eugene native’s new album, Simply Love, released Sept. 10 in the U.S., has already pegged the top of the Billboard jazz charts in Japan and Asia.
Loren celebrates a homecoming of sorts with a CD release show Saturday at Springfield’s Wildish Theater.
Simply Love is Loren’s best work yet, sparkling in its production and by turns honey-sweet and sharply savvy in execution. Her gorgeous, pitch-perfect voice is more confident than ever, and she navigates each song — whether a standard or one of her own compositions — with an intimate understanding that feels like a personal valentine from her to her fans.
Loren says this latest effort, regardless of the variety of songs and styles it contains, is her most complete and unified work yet. “It’s a little bit more conceptualized by feeling than any previous project we’ve done,” she explains, adding that the music captures “all these things that feel very elemental and vibrant to me. Of course, there’s the obvious theme of love, but it’s not only romantic love. It’s got a strong sense of the love of life, of being in the world.”
Loren, at just 29, has five albums to her name as well as a basketful of awards and worldwide acclaim. Despite this, she still feels anchored in Eugene. “I live here,” she says. “I love touring, but as much as I love touring, I love coming home. I love being able to take all the experience and experimentation we’ve done, bringing all of those same ideas and same energy to a hometown crowd.”
Halie Loren performs at her CD release show 7 pm Saturday, Sept. 21, at Wildish Theater, 630 Main St., Springfield; $15 adv., $20 door. For more information visit wildishtheater.com.