Straight Outta Caledonia… an Introduction to Jackie Leven

We are so excited to introduce Straight Outta Caledonia, a compilation of songs by the late songwriter Jackie Leven.

I’ve been running Night School for 10 years this year. It’s been a tumultuous, hugely rewarding thing in my life where the positives massively outweigh the negatives. Maybe I’d have less grey hair without it but I’m learning to live with that.

When I’m announcing a new release, something I’ve worked on for a while with the artists it’s a really anxious time. Often the feeling is akin to being on the edge of a cliff face looking into azure water. I’ve been working on Straight Outta Caledonia, a new compilation on Night School’s subsidiary label School Daze of songs by the artist Jackie Leven, for over 3 years. I first heard his song The Sexual Loneliness Of Jesus Christ in 2016 maybe and it had an instant, powerful, healing, transcendent effect. It reminded me of why I do this. Why I like music in the first place. Since then I’ve made it a kind of personal mission to try and show Leven’s music to as many people as possible and the best way I can do this is by making Straight Outta Caledonia.

I was really lucky to have the author Ian Rankin and singer Molly Nilsson on board to write some liner notes about how much Jackie’s music means to them. I wrote a bit too. I’m really, really nervous because I’ll never meet Jackie Leven (he passed away in 2011) and for some reason I’ve got into the situation where I’m releasing the first vinyl release of his in decades. It’s almost a make or break type affair for the label, I’ve put so much energy and everything else into this. I really, really wish that his music reaches some new people and it helps them as much as its helped me. I really feel like this is one of the most important projects I’ve been involved in to date.

I’m going to paste the liner notes I wrote for the release below but in the meantime, I sincerely wish you all the best time possible with the music on this comp, if you decide to dive in. I haven’t been the same since listening to Jackie Leven


20 July 2021