28°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

An Artist You Should Get to Know

Jenny Owen Youngs, singer/songwriter extraordinaire
Jenny Owen Youngs, singer/songwriter extraordinaire

Jenny Owen Youngs quietly entered the music scene in 2005 with the self-release of Batten the Hatches. In 2009, she released her second album, Transmitter Failure. She’s currently touring until October 9, with plans to release a new record in the near future. Youngs recently opened for Motion City Soundtrack at the Paradise Rock Club on September 13 and 14. Witty and endearing on stage and in person, she can also rock out on the guitar and captivate an audience. Recently, the Mass Media was fortunate enough to interview her.

 

So how’s the tour going?

Oh it’s going like pretty awesome. […] Everything is up and running, and you know it’s going really well so far.

What’s the worst thing that has happened to you onstage?

Well, actually, the last time I was in Boston, I was playing at the Middle East Upstairs and I was playing a show with an amazing dude named Tim Barry, but his crowd is pretty rough. They were rowdy and pretty drunk. I was in the middle of saying something, and somebody interrupted to shout out and basically sort of imply that I was fat. So that would be my least favorite thing.

What would you say is the biggest difference between your first and second album?

The second one is more ‘awesomer.’ I think the biggest difference is that we sort of made that record with a band in mind, and the first record was a much more focused approach on my songs and me. I was doing a lot more solo acoustic stuff at that point, so that was the focus of that record. The second record is more focused on bigger arrangements.

Are you working on a new album?

Yes I am, and it’s almost done. I’m super excited about it. I’m going to hopefully polish it off when I get back from this tour in October and then get it out there.

How do you pick what songs you cover?

You know, whatever feels right.

Okay, so, I really like your Hot in Herre cover. Are you a fan of Nelly?

At the time that we put that together I was doing a lot of Top 40 covers and that song really stuck out because it’s such a good feel-good party song. That’s the only Nelly song I could sing, so I wouldn’t say I’m a fan of Nelly, but I’m definitely a fan of that song.

What was the process like of having your song Fuck Was I used on the show Weeds? Did you reach out to them or did they reach out to you?

It was the kind of situation where it’s difficult to say exactly what happened. There were a lot of things [that] were new and in play in my life at that exact moment. I had just started talking to a publisher, had just started talking to a label, and had just started working with someone whose job is placing songs in television shows. My manager had also just given the CD to the music supervisor of the show at the time.

I watched a video of you on YouTube with Perez Hilton that said you work full time for a record label and still manage to tour. Do you still do that?

No, I got to leave that job, which was an amazing job to have, when I started making my second record, which was in April of 2008. Knock on wood; I have remained not a real ‘jobby’ person since then.

Would you like to add anything else?

Umm, no. Just, you know, party, party, party.

You can download her music on iTunes or visit jennyowenyoungs.com. If you’re feeling real adventurous she’s playing in Williamstown, MA on October 9.