Sunday, October 28, 2007

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 looks like Lindsay Lohan's indie-kid younger sister (though, ironically, the baby-faced Youngs is in fact about a half-decade older than the hard-partying actress-singer) but sounds like an entirely successful fusion of Liz Phair's perceptive and brashly funny lyrics and the orchestrated folk-pop of Regina Spektor and Erin McKeown, with just a hint of Nellie McKay's jazzy cabaret leanings and Cat Power's throaty, confessional angst. Born in New Jersey in 1981 and raised in the usual suburban surroundings, Youngs first picked up the guitar at the age of 14 and attended the music program at the State University of New York at Purchase at a time when that 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." Biography by Stewart Mason from allmusic.com



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