Thursday, 10 July 2014

Record Review - Jenny Queen

Published in the July issue of The Big Issue.

Jenny Queen
Small Town Misfits
ABC Music / Universal

Three albums in now, and US-born, Sydney based Jenny Queen is beginning to make an impact. For while Small Town Misfits, with its shiny, considered production and occasionally freewheeling vocal delivery is, at its core, a pop album, it brings with it enough lyrical weight and raw musicianship to have it sitting amongst most Americana/country releases with relative ease.

Produced by Shane Nicholson, Queen has been encouraged to loosen up somewhat, “The more fucked up, the better”, as she says is the album’s motto, at the behest of Nicholson. It works quite well when she takes heed of the advice, particularly on tracks like ‘Wait For The Night’ with its shimmering pedal steel; ‘Blood Meridian’, which begins simply before flowering into a storming country rumbler; and ‘Austin’, where her voice is complimented by Brooke McClymont’s backing vocal.

Small Town Misfits isn’t an album which will instantly grab you, taking you to some smoke-stained Nashville bar, but rather it’s a grower; a considered work that heralds bigger things to come.

Samuel J. Fell

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