While Leigh Jones, Audra Nemir and Clara Baker have respectively participated in a myriad of collaborations from coast to coast, the fiery, sweet sounds the three create when they come together is uniquely infectious. Five Letter Word, inventively taken from the number of letters in each of their names, is a mesmerizing symbiosis of harmonies, strings and a variety of percussive techniques.
“There’s some magic to it—that we can find harmonies intuitively and quickly—and that is something I haven’t experienced in the same way with other musicians,” Baker tells.
These three ladies first combined forces in the summer of 2017. Jones had moved to Portland in 2014, a leap of faith to escape the chaos of New York. With her soulful voice and passionate drive, the local music scene welcomed her with ease. Before long she was singing and playing guitar in the Portland band Crow and the Canyon. As fate would have it, Nemir met Jones at a Songwriter Soiree two years later while visiting Portland for a week. Only a few months later, Nemir was living in Portland, playing the upright bass with her light, enticing energy in Crow and the Canyon. And upon Baker’s return to her native stomping grounds in the spring of 2017, she met Jones and Nemir at a show and they clicked instantly.
“Something I adore about this band,” Nemir says, “is how it is driven by care for one another and the music, rather than ego-driven. There’s no tension around who’s getting glory. In this band, nobody stands in the back—we are all in it together."
The result? A charismatic, clever expression of creativity through music. Their relatable lyrics are dressed up in warm, sweet melodies and their graceful strings and percussion make for a delightful show, with a few unexpected twists. Perhaps what really makes Five Letter Word special, though, can’t be described through just sounds and sights.
“There truly is a foundation of mutual admiration and respect for each other,” Jones says. “The whole is greater as a result of our combined abilities and energies. We push each other beyond our comfort zones in the most supportive way.”
Five Letter Word has not released an album for us all to swoon over yet, which makes this video premiere of “Easier to Go” all the more enticing. The song was written by Jones three years ago and has really been brought to life with “Clara’s tasty guitar line, three-part harms on the chorus, and some general feminine sass,” Jones says.