NASHVILLE – This week’s Nashville Pick is Jenny Owen Youngs and her single Avalanche – The airwaves are about to be struck with a sonic landslide as indie folk diva Jenny Owen Youngs prepares to launch her first full-length album in over a decade, Avalanche, out September 22 via her new digs at Yep Roc Records. Avalanche is more than an album; it’s a powerful testament to Youngs’ ten-year journey, transmuted into a compelling suite of songs that waltz with the full gamut of emotions from heartache and loss to joyous self-discovery and renewed love.
With her announcement, Youngs has debuted the eponymous lead single “Avalanche,” complete with an artfully curated visualizer featuring – you guessed it – avalanches. In an added treat for fans, Youngs also dropped a live rendition of “Avalanche,” featuring a musical tête-à-tête with The Antlers’ Peter Silberman. The performance, premiered by Paste, has already drawn admiration, lauded as a “thoughtful, introspective indie-folk track” showcasing Youngs’ ethereal, mournful vocals against a backdrop of patient guitar and snare-driven percussion.
Co-written with Madi Diaz, the lead track, “Avalanche,” is a poignant entrepôt to Youngs’ deeply personal narrative crafted into this album. “An avalanche is an extreme force, it can cause great harm, and when it’s over, you can be certain things will be different than they were before,” Youngs muses. “The unifying theme of this body of songs is the idea of moving from destruction to restoration, traveling through pain to possibility.”
Youngs penned the album amidst a whirlwind of life changes – a divorce, falling in love again, uprooting from the bright lights of Los Angeles to the charming serenity of coastal Maine, remarrying – and finding solace in being on the other side.
Filled with shimmering moments of despair giving way to hope and love, Avalanche is a sonic roller coaster ride. “There’s a good deal of heartbreak and disappointment in this music,” Youngs confesses, “but it ultimately gives way to excitement and promise, to the incredible, immeasurable bliss of falling in love and finding yourself again. These songs travel the whole emotional spectrum.”
The album features the collaborative magic of a host of friends including S. Carey, Madi Diaz, Peter Silberman, Christian Lee Hutson, with the rhythmic heartbeat provided by The Walkmen’s Matt Barrick and produced by Josh Kaufman. The result is an achingly beautiful exploration of loss, resilience, and growth – a testament to Youngs’ journey. The tunes, while deceptively calm, often mask the emotional torrents beneath, leading to an unflinchingly honest and deeply vulnerable body of work. It’s a musical phoenix rising, transforming Youngs’ past heartaches into hope and transcendence.
Youngs, born and raised in rural New Jersey, had her early love affair with The Beatles, progressing to The Cranberries and Elliott Smith in her formative years. Her self-released debut, Batten The Hatches, caught the eye of Nettwerk Records, thanks to a high-profile feature in the Showtime series Weeds, leading to her 2009 follow-up, Transmitter Failure. After her third album, 2012’s An Unwavering Band Of Light, Youngs shifted gears, moving to LA to write for other artists and for film and TV.
Her songwriting prowess graced Pitbull’s “Bad Man”, which debuted at the 58th annual Grammy Awards in 2016, she co-wrote Shungudzo’s “Come On Back,” which was featured in the Fifty Shades Freed soundtrack; and in 2018, she co-wrote Panic! At The Disco’s smash hit “High Hopes,” which is now seven-times platinum and broke the record for most weeks atop Billboard’s Hot Rock Songs chart. Along the way, Youngs also launched Buffering The Vampire Slayer, an episode-by-episode podcast devoted to Buffy The Vampire Slayer that attracted more than 160,000 monthly listeners and led to a book deal with St. Martin’s Press. Youngs has recently introduced her new podcast series, The eX-Files, and anticipates releasing a narrative fiction podcast next year. Brace yourself, Jenny Owen Youngs’ avalanche is coming.
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