Fishman Artist // Jennie ArnauJennie Arnau creates a unique blend of New York-nurtured South Carolina-born Grassroots rock. Her original blend of Americana, Alt-Country and rock along with her bold and bittersweet voice have lead more than one critic to describe her as a cross between Neil Young, Martina McBride and Alanis Morissette. It’s a sly underground sound that’s born of urban grit and rowdy southern sensibilities and it perfectly suits this native South Carolina singer. It’s not a voice that has gone unnoticed either – Chuck Eddy of the Village Voice wrote that Jennie was capable of “a husky uplift and rhythmic wallop rarely heard in the female-folkie field, Singer Magazine praised Jennie’s ability to “pierce your heart one moment, then turn right around and calm your spirit the next” and No Depression described her voice as “strong without sacrificing its femininity.”
After releasing three prior albums on her own and enduring a couple of years of traumatic or watershed events, Jennie needed to take stock of her music and her career. “For a long time I was scared of the music industry and buried myself in other things,” she says, “but my downtown musician friends finally pushed me out of the nest. And here I am.”
Her latest release, Chasing Giants, might be one of the most compelling indie record releases of the year.
From the yearning and hopeful journey of “Bouncing Ball” to the playfulness of “For the Winter,” Jennie smartly embraces both the subtle artistry of alt-country and indie sensibility. She’s not afraid of the ache in her vocals and her lyrics; in fact, Jennie says that it’s that very conflict of her multi-dimensional life, her loves and her losses over the last years that have fueled the “openness” and honesty of the album.
For a woman who grew up in the foothills of Appalachia, but who has thrived in New York's downtown music scene, Jennie has long explored the curious dichotomy of her artistic temperament. But she sees Chasing Giants as the "coming of age" album she has long sought to record.
"I'm really so proud of this album," says Jennie, sole songwriter of Chasing Giants. "I've returned a little bit more to my country roots. I think it's modern but has a more organic feel and although I'm still a singer/songwriter it stretches the blending of various music styles."
Who and what has influenced Jennie as a singer? Given her professed fondness for “interesting voices,” Jennie’s choices are eclectic, ricocheting from Jeff Buckley to Ani DiFranco (“when she’s not growling”) to Aimee Mann and Johnny Cash. “Any voice that makes you melt,” Jennie explains. “A voice that’s distinctive, confessional … that you feel the lyric through the voice.”
And what of her own lyrics? “I like to think of myself as a storyteller,” she muses. “I do like my songs to have a beginning, a middle and an end. And while I do write of sadness in my music, it’s all in perspective. I’m not self-indulgent.”