Published Jun 16, 2020L.A. based songwriter Jenny O. exhibits both the passion of an experienced rock artist and the sensitivity of a folk musician with her third studio album, New Truth — a deeply poignant yet cathartic body of work. Playing all guitars on the record, along with working on the vocals at home on her own time, Jenny O. truly took control of the creative process, and for such a personal album, this is fitting.
Album opener "God Knows Why," a track based on Jenny O.'s frightening experience of suddenly going deaf in her right ear, is bittersweet: although it is an unfair situation, Jenny O. makes the most of her new reality. Her honey-like vocals float over edgy, acoustic guitars, and the refrain of "god knows why" voices her frustration with her current change of circumstance, but also a sense of acceptance. This first track is significant, setting the tone for an album that is relatable — there is no denying the universal feelings present throughout — and totally soul-baring.
"What About That Day" sees Jenny O. reflecting on a flawed relationship, the idea of what might have been, while "Even If I Tried," with its perfect balance of cheerful melody and urgent lyrics, is a psychedelic pop song for eliminating the toxic people in your life. She sings, "When I was younger / Wholly by circumstance / Had to be captive to your nonsense / But good news / No one has to talk to you / The world keeps turning / And you, you fade away," and we sense a new-found confidence in Jenny O.'s voice. "I Don't Want to Live Alone Anymore," warm and dreamy, is ultimately a longing for connection when the once-comfortable solitude becomes tiring.
New Truth, emotional and uninhibited, is one that can encourage us to adapt to whatever curveball life decides to throw our way, and Jenny O.'s soothing vocals and distinct style make it all the more affecting. (Mama Bird Recording Co.)