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An Unwavering Band of Light

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On paper, Jenny Owen Youngs could be described as a female singer/songwriter. She touts an acoustic guitar and was part of New York’s revived anti-folk scene in the early '00s. But with her third studio album, An Unwavering Band of Light, the New Jersey native journeys inward, surfacing with songs that wax the wizardry of R. Stevie Moore and the confidence of early Liz Phair. “Love for Long” opens with guitars jangling over a Bo Diddley beat as Youngs throatily sings “My daddy’s car/You know she’s built to last/And I take the corners hard and fast." That claim can also be applied to this album. Even in more romantic musings like “Your Apartment,” Youngs tends to put the pedal to the metal between verse and chorus, turning a breezy ballad into a memorable adventure. Youngs plugs in the guitar and turns up the distortion on “Pirates,” an archetypal indie rocker with a galloping rhythm, gang vocals, and infectious melody. The hushed “O God” downshifts to reveal a tough sentiment even in the midst of wistful melancholia.


Born: 22 November 1981 in Montclair, NJ

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '00s

Coming up strong behind R. Stevie Moore as the most talented singer/songwriter to be based in the nondescript bedroom community of Montclair, NJ, Jenny Owen Youngs fuses Liz Phair's perceptive and brashly funny lyrics with the orchestrated folk-pop of Regina Spektor and Erin McKeown, adding just a hint of Nellie McKay's jazzy cabaret leanings and Cat Power's throaty, confessional angst. Born in New Jersey in 1981, Youngs first picked up the guitar at the age of 14 and attended the music program at...
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An Unwavering Band of Light, Jenny Owen Youngs
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