Playing acoustic-based music that combines the melodic simplicity of bluegrass with the emotional expression of contemporary singer/songwriters, Jenny & Tyler are a husband-and-wife duo whose music and message are informed by their strong Christian faith. Jenny Appel and Tyler Somers first met in 2004 when they were students at the University of Delaware; he was a worship leader with the Baptist Student Ministry that she regularly attended. The two became fast friends, and in time, their relationship evolved into something deeper. Jenny had begun writing songs in her early teens as a means of self-expression, and her parents were serious fans of gospel and bluegrass music, while her dad was also an amateur luthier. Tyler, meanwhile, also came from a musical household: he was the son of a jazz composer, Wilson Somers, who also taught music, and his mother was a singer. Both Jenny and Tyler performed music in their spare time, and they soon began accompanying one another and writing songs as a duo.
In 2006, Jenny & Tyler began work on an album together, and their self-released debut, A Prelude, arrived in late 2007, a few months after the couple was married. Jenny & Tyler set out on tour in support of the record, and in 2008, as the duo became more serious about their career, they relocated to Nashville, Tennessee. After several more low-key recording projects created on their own, Jenny & Tyler crossed paths with Mac Powell of Third Day when they appeared on the same bill with the group; Powell appeared as a guest vocalist on the 2010 album Faint Not, which found Jenny & Tyler experimenting with a more ambitious production style. While Tyler had produced the majority of Jenny & Tyler's recordings, for 2012's Open Your Doors, they worked with an outside producer for the first time, Mitch Dane, who had previously handled sessions for Jars of Clay and JJ Heller. The album would appear on the Billboard Christian, folk, and Heatseekers charts.
When not making music or looking after their daughter, Jane Mercy Somers, who was born in the summer of 2013, Jenny & Tyler support a variety of charitable causes, in particular the International Justice Mission, a group dedicated to stamping out human trafficking. In 2013, the duo released an EP of covers, For Freedom, which included guest appearances by JJ Heller, Sara Groves, and Levi Weaver; proceeds from the sale of the EP benefit anti-trafficking organizations.
The full-length album Of This I'm Sure followed in 2015 on Centricity Music's new label, Residence Music, which aimed to focus on artists of faith whose music spoke to a broader audience. It returned them to the Christian, folk, and Heatseekers charts. In 2016, they issued the live LP 10,000 Miles: Live in 2015 and the holiday album Christmas Stories, which landed on the Christian chart that November. ~ Mark Deming