Lucky Ones, produced by Jack Dishel (Only Son, The Moldy Peaches, Regina Spektor), is the sophomore effort from singer and songwriter Adrien Reju. Offering something fresh for dedicated fans and new listeners, the new album is a departure from the folk vibe of her debut release A Million Hearts. Lucky Ones shows evolution and growth from the artist, with its edgier sound, orchestral arrangements, driving bass, and retro-rock backbeat drums. Kim for The Buzz About assures fans that the new album "still has echoes of Adrien's earlier album—[the songs] ‘Crazy’ and ‘The Lucky Ones’ will sound familiar to those who enjoyed ‘Fire Away’ and ‘Heartless’ on A Million Hearts—but shows a fantastically gifted artist growing her style with a big, full voice that truly separates her from a very crowded field of singer-songwriters."
When negotiations with a NYC-based independent record label broke down due to differences, Reju sought out PledgeMusic, a Kickstarter-like fundraising platform, to help her release the new album. She chose PledgeMusic because of its direct-to-fan incentive-based fundraising model and its connection with charities. With the direct-to-fan approach, "it's not so much about raising money, but about building a relationship with my fans," says Reju.
To launch the campaign, Reju and producer Jack Dishel, who bonded over their love for comedy, together created a comedic sketch short film entitled “The Mysterious Producer.” The success of the campaign was notable, raising over 125% of its target from supporters in the United States and as far afield as the United Kingdom and Germany. And in keeping with Reju’s commitment to arts education, a portion of the funds went to Art Start, an organization in NYC that uses the creative arts to transform the lives of youth at risk. Matt Connor of PledgeMusic took notice of the new album, saying, "the compelling mix places Reju firmly alongside today’s most celebrated female pop songwriters."
Local Philadelphia fans know Reju from her earlier years as a founding member of the indie bluegrass band The Lowlands, and as the folk/retro-pop solo artist, drawing comparisons with Feist, Petula Clark, and 70s AM gold radio. The release of A Million Hearts in 2009 garnered success, including regular rotation airplay on WXPN, songwriting accolades from the New York SongCircle, awards from 100% Music Songwriting Contest, a Top 10 Songwriter listing by CBS Philly, and soundtrack appearances, including the opening credits of Hallmark Movie Channel’s "Flower Girl."
Reju moved back to her hometown New York City in 2010, probing the music scenes of Brooklyn and the East Village, spending a couple of years there with her bass-playing beau Owen Biddle, during his stint with The Roots on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. It was there that she wrote the songs for Lucky Ones. “There’s an edge to the writing and arrangements that echoes the music I was hearing in and around the city,” says Adrien. The songs “reflected the way I was feeling and the thoughts I was having [at the time]. I wrote about the nature of relationships, about jealousy, love, loss, and about drifting apart.” The title track “The Lucky Ones” (co-written by Dishel) however, is about triumph over adversity, so at the end of it all, her viewpoint is uplifting.
The stresses of success during those years in New York moved Reju and Biddle to seek refuge from the city, and they have now settled in the Catskill Mountains near the town of Woodstock, New York.
"Adrien is like a bird from another planet that can see directly into your heart."