Time now for what always proves to be our most hotly contested list each year. EPs are such an important creative tool for new artists especially, and there’s such a wealth of them out there that we barely scratch the surface of them with the few that fit in our Spotlight! series. In a way this feels like the most important list of the season as it gives us chance to shine a light on releases that we don’t otherwise get the opportunity to talk about. Great things often come in small packages, and here are our picks for the EPs that left the biggest impressions in 2022. Continue reading
Interview: Jenny Kern
A silver lining of heartbreak is that it provides an opportunity to know ourselves better. To understand the mistakes we made and where we went wrong, to recognise our needs and desires and how best to fulfil them, to realise which parts of the relationship most left their mark on us and which moments were taken for granted. In essence it’s a chance to reminisce on the memories shared and a chance to learn and grow as a person moving forward. That’s the message at the heart of Your Heart Knows – the bittersweet new EP from Canadian-born Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Jenny Kern, and her most enchanting collection of songs to date. Having followed her career from the introspective folk of her debut single, to the stunning cinematic synthpop of this latest release, it feels like high time we got to know this Belwood favourite a little better too. Continue reading
Top Ten EPs of 2021
Delving into a given year’s finest EPs often feels like gazing into a crystal ball for a brief glimpse of the future. It’s with releases such as these that many up and coming artists first make their mark on the world and become the name on people’s lips. It’s often here that the brightest stars of tomorrow are forged, and so this list in particular is one of our favourite ways to sing the praises of the wealth of talented new artists on the scene, alongside outstanding projects from old favourites. Continue reading
Spotlight!: Jenny Kern
At this point it’s become easy to take these last couple of years for granted. We resign ourselves to keeping busy and trying to maintain routines without stopping to take stock of just how much strain we’ve been under. All the cracks in our psyche that have deepened, and the fresh ones that have formed, thanks to all the isolation and uncertainty. It becomes this scared little whisper in the void that we ourselves refuse to even acknowledge, never mind share with others. With her debut EP I Never Thought That You Were Listening, Canadian born singer/songwriter Jenny Kern superbly expresses the sense of solitude and deafening silence that we’ve all been facing; capturing the zeitgeist of the new normal and the lessons we can take forward from it. What’s more this Belwood favourite adorns her introspection with such cinematic synthscapes and mesmerising melodies. Evoking the eerie glow of city streets in the still of night, it paints the perfect expanse for Jenny’s poignant musings to echo against. Continue reading
Top Tracks: Jenny Kern – Coming Back For Me
I recall once reading about the quietest room in the world. How people can only endure being inside it for a few minutes at a time, as the deafening silence allows you to hear the sounds of your body that the world would otherwise drown out. In a way I feel like this phenomenon applies to any extended period of isolation – something we’ve all had in abundance this past year. It’s when we’re alone with our thoughts that our minds wander the most. Somehow the quiet stillness of solitude is all it takes to open the floodgates. All those fears you dare not acknowledge, the memories long faded rushing back in vivid detail, the pent-up emotions you hoped would simply fade away; all surging unbidden to the forefront of your thoughts. It’s a difficult feeling that can make you want to run and drown it all out again. But by learning to embrace these moments, by learning to be okay with being alone, we can better process all the unseen and unspoken tension wearing us down. It’s a sentiment perfectly suited to Jenny Kern’s signature introspective style. With this new track from her forthcoming EP, full of fine details to discover on further listens, Jenny’s dreamy vocals and the slow burning soundscape provides all the company you need for a quiet night of reflection.
Top Tracks: Jenny Kern – Now We Know
New York based singer/songwriter Jenny Kern manages to up her game with each new release. In many ways her latest single ‘Now We Now’ pulls together all the finest parts of her prior releases. Musically it is the perfect blend of the warm and fragile folk of her debut EP and the indie pop synths explored in ‘Satellite’. It’s her most assured vocal performance to date, and the lush arrangement and beautifully bittersweet tone make this the kind of song that you end up listening to on repeat and losing all sense of time. Most of all however it showcases her songwriting at its most open and vulnerable. ‘Now We Know’ is a track all about facing the end of a relationship; the pain of parting, the struggle that comes with facing up to your mistakes, and ultimately a sense of understanding and acceptance. By opening her heart and being honest with both herself and the listener, you feel a keen sense of the hurt and emptiness, but with a feeling of peace and closure shining through, on this entrancingly introspective track.
Top Tracks: Jenny Kern – Satellite
One of the marks of a great artist is versatility. That needn’t mean being well versed in vastly different styles, it can also mean being able to express certain emotions or conjure up different imagery. The new song from Canadian born singer/songwriter Jenny Kern shows her taking an assured step towards expanding her sound in this way. While tracks from her debut EP were grounded more in folk, with warm and simple arrangements that used empty space to their advantage, new offering ‘Satellite’ takes a turn towards indie pop territory. The dreamy synths, animated electronic beats and overall more eclectic arrangement found here feels like a whole other world. It feels like an oasis of quiet self reflection in the middle of a crazy hectic existence. While her earlier singles were like a still night in a country cottage before a crackling fire, this latest effort feels more like walking through the city searching for answers as the streetlights shimmer on the rain-drenched streets.
Top Tracks: Jenny Kern – Slow Burn
A perfectly pensive track for these quiet winter nights, the aptly named ‘Slow Burn’ is just one of those songs that incites introspection. The kind of song that plays in your head as you watch the rain patter on your window, or the flames dancing in the fireplace. It has such a deeply cinematic feel that it can make even the most mundane setting feel like a movie scene. You almost seem to see the world differently with this song playing. Like the big things we all stress about don’t matter anymore, and instead you start to see more meaning in the little things that you wouldn’t normally even notice. Canadian born singer/songwriter Jenny Kern has made one hell of an impression with her debut single. I just want to listen to it on repeat until the world around me turns to dust.