Jenny Owens Youngs “Avalanche”

Yep Roc, 2023

Redemptive meditation on time passing and life events from talented singer-songwriter.

Album cover Art JennyowenyoungsThis is the first release for Jenny Owens Youngs for ten years as her life took her in different directions including amongst other things producing a podcast about Buffy the Vampire Slayer with over 160,000 flowers, a divorce, a remarriage and a relocation from Los Angeles to Maine – no small distance.

Produced by Josh Kaufman of Bonny Light Horseman this has the same hallmarks of careful, pronounced production which highlights the songs and makes sure that every instrument is in their right place and at the right volume within the very polite structure. There are no bum notes and the sound is crystalline.

Titles such as ‘Knife Went In’, ‘Bury Me Slowly’ and ‘ Set It On Fire’ give the listener a flavour of the music to come as these songs are often confessional in nature as Youngs pours her soul onto the tracks chronicling the heart and heft of her life since her previous release. The voice is a delightful, expressive instrument and lyrically she conjures some strong imagery that sits well in the sympathetic instrumentation that often gives way to leave the tremulous voice alone and stripped.

Highlights are the aforementioned ‘Bury Me Slowly’ with its funeral pace and swirling sounds, ‘Salt’ with its Harvest beat and cracked vocals bursting into a beautiful harmonied chorus and the title track with hymnal introduction and acoustic guitar figure leading to Youngs’ ethereal vocal leading the listener by the hand as pop meets country and western.

This is a strong return from Youngs after years of writing for others. It’s good to have her back making her own music.

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8/10
8/10

About Keith Hargreaves 391 Articles
Riding the one eyed horse into dead town the scales fell from his eyes. Music was the only true god at once profane and divine The dust blew through his mind as he considered the offering... And then he scored it out of ten and waited for the world to wake up
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Richard Parkinson

I’ve seen the first in 10 years in several reviews. Ive been listening to her music since the mid noughties and crowd funded more than 1 release. While the podcast did take up more of her time in the last 10 years she self released three EPs (latest in 2021) and a number of singles in that time. That said signing to YepRoc and having Kaufman produce is a big boost for her. Good to see JOY getting a write up here.