I remember the first time I heard Jenny O. play. It was at the The Standard Hollywood on June 10, 2008 and, as a Music and Talent Coordinator for the hotel, I had been booking indie/folk acoustic acts on a monthly basis. A friend whose musical taste I trusted at the time suggested that I give Jenny O. a shot.
Today, I can’t remember who that friend was and I hope he or she will forgive me, but what I do remember is that upon hearing Jenny’s first guitar chords and her tender but compelling voice, I was instantly hooked. She completely captured my heart (and ears) with her stunning melodies and poignant lyrics. Her songs were so beautifully crafted and her stage presence so unassuming that I was literally left craving more…and that’s saying a lot for someone who, these days, rarely has the time to listen to whole tracks properly, let alone an entire hour’s worth of live performance!
Jenny was born in Long Island, New York to a scientist/wedding singer father who introduced young Jenny to a wide vintage record collection that consisted primarily of Beach Boys and Harry Nilsson. She didn’t make it West to LA until the late 2000’s and just recently started releasing music.
She took matters in her own hands and released her own Home EP via Kickstarter.com before LA’s own Manimal label (Warpaint, Bat for Lashes, Sister Crayon and papercranes took notice and brought her on board.
Some of the songs on The EP are very simple in terms of production, like “All My Wishes” where it’s just her voice and guitar. Or “I Do I Do” and “Home” with just a piano accompanying her voice.
“Well OK Honey,”which features a full band, is my favorite. It’s the type of song that you will want to put on repeat and hum all day. The groove is irresistible, the melody is infectious, the lyrics are witty as they come, and there is a certain coyness to Jenny’s delivery that is so adorable you just want to smile the entire time. In my case, it made me want to do a remix.
“Well Ok Honey (Valida vs. Art Bleek vs. Charlie Sputnik remix)”
With a current Monday night residency at the Bootleg (through February), a slate of SXSW showcases in the works and the Noise Pop festival on February 24, I am predicting Jenny O is about to capture many more hearts and ears.
Jenny O.’s 5-song Home EP is out now on iTunes.