“Funny, smart and quirky. A truly unconventional singer-songwriter.”
-Rita Houston for NPR
“Honey-throated vocals and a deft ability to write both memorable hooks and saturnine ballads… Irresistible, infectious.”
“Best music I’ve heard.”
Jenny Owen Youngs, singer/songwriter and natural history enthusiast, returns with her third studio album, AN UNWAVERING BAND OF LIGHT. Produced by longtime collaborator Dan Romer (Ingrid Michaelson, Jukebox the Ghost), the record finds Jenny knee-deep in crunchy rock guitars, whispery string quartets, and a mixed bag of bizarre-o percussion... in other words, precisely where she wants to be.
“I wanted to explore new territory, mess around with tones and textures that Dan and I hadn’t really dug into before,” she explains. “When we started working on this album, I was obsessed with Tom Waits’s Swordfishtrombones and Dan was wrapped up in Harry Belafonte’s Calypso.” These influences are echoed in the loose, bouncy electric guitar lines and layers of woodblocks, oil drums, and varied percussion that can be found weaving through many of the album’s songs, most notably “Love For Long” and “Your Apartment.”
“I also wanted to get loud,” she adds. “I cut my teeth on Nirvana, and spend a lot of time listening to bands like The White Stripes, The Strokes, and Sleater-Kinney.” And loudness prevails on the punked-out “Pirates” and the schizophrenic “Sleep Machine.”
There is also something here for those who gravitate toward the quiet and the sad. “O God” is a meditation on regret and taking a pass on perfectly good love, made all the more heart-wrenching by the mournful string arrangement by Romer. “So Long” explores the greatest loss with nothing more than a piano and a few voices (including soaring assists from Ben Thornewill and Tommy Siegel of Jukebox the Ghost). As Youngs puts it, “I love playing loud, but there are still plenty of feelings to go around.”
Jenny grew up in the forests of northern New Jersey and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY. After self-releasing her first album Batten the Hatches in 2005, Youngs went on to release two albums and three EPs through the Canadian indie label Nettwerk Records. She has toured extensively through the US, UK, and mainland Europe, both as headliner and support to artists such as Regina Spektor, Motion City Soundtrack, Aimee Mann, Kevin Devine, and Amanda Palmer. Her songs have been heard on Weeds, Nurse Jackie, Privileged, Life Unexpected, Switched at Birth, and in Victoria's Secret stores the world over. Her spirit animals are Johnny Cash, Kate Bush, Tom Waits and Jack White.