Monday, 20 July 2015

The Youngs One

I don't recall how I first came to hear Jenny Owen Youngs, but the internet must have been involved. I was probably taken by the title of one of her early tracks Fuck Was I. Fortunately my shallowness was justified - it was a really good track, angry and biting yet with a mellow acoustic guitar and cello arrangement.

It's not easy to pigeonhole her, which is a good thing of course. She can be folky, rocky, poppy and experimental all on the same record. There might be comparisons to people like Regina Spektor or Aimee Mann, but on the whole Jenny maintains her own identity. To date, she has released three full-length albums, her most recent - and my favourite of the bunch - being 2012's 'An Unwavering Band Of Light'. It's riddled with interesting ideas and is undoubtedly Jenny at her most fun and confident-sounding. Sleep Machine is, for me, her best track so far. It's unpredictable and menacing; almost schizophrenic. I'm also a fan of Clean Break from her second album, 'Transmitter Failure' from 2009. Twangy guitar, country-rock stylings, a little vaudevillian music hall and enough grunginess to keep it contemporary and fresh-sounding.

An EP entitled 'Slack Tide' came out a month or two ago and features newly recorded acoustic versions of previously released songs and a cover of Johnny Cash's evergreen classic Ring Of Fire. Hopefully she'll give us some new material pretty soon, though she's not known for rushing things.


And here's a version of her 2011 stand-alone single Great Big Plans:


  1. Blimey, this is good. I've never heard of her. Why was I not informed? I'll be following up on this one, thanks for the intro.

  2. As The Swede says, Robster, this is very very good. You can hear a whole lot of influences in there, Aimee Mann as you say, maybe Gemma Ray, but these are all very good songs.

  3. I had predicted big things, but then I kind of lost track of her after Batten the Hatches and Transmitter Failure. Interesting to see what she has been up to. Accolades or not, she is quite a talent.