An Unwavering Band of Light by Jenny Owen Youngs on Apple Music

11 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

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.

EDITORS’ NOTES

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.

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3:53
3:56
4:11
3:52
5:21
4:32
4:02
3:56
3:29
5:34

About Jenny Owen Youngs

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 the State University of New York, having enrolled during a period in which the previously obscure art school was single-handedly populating what would become the entire New York "anti-folk" scene: besides Youngs and Spektor, Jeffrey Lewis, Langhorne Slim, and the Moldy Peaches' Adam Green, and Kimya Dawson were all SUNY-Purchase graduates.

Maintaining a friendship with Spektor, who chose Youngs as her opening act on the tours following her breakthrough album, Soviet Kitsch, Youngs wrote and recorded her debut album, 2005's self-released Batten the Hatches. Although the album garnered generally positive reviews, it attracted little notice until one of its highlights, the rueful "Fuck Was I," was used in the second-season opener of the popular cable sitcom Weeds. Signing with the Canadian indie Nettwerk Records, Youngs released a remixed and repackaged version of Batten the Hatches in early 2007. She returned to the road shortly thereafter, opening shows for the likes of Vienna Teng while compiling material for a new album. Released in 2009, Transmitter Failure marked the artist's second full-length release. ~ Stewart Mason

  • ORIGIN
    Montclair, NJ
  • BORN
    Nov 22, 1981

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