MP3 Jessica Penrose - Words Become Flesh
Lyrically driven, contemplative rainy day music.
9 MP3 Songs
POP: Piano, FOLK: Folk Pop
Jessica Penrose''s Sophomore release"Words Become Flesh'' combines honest lyrics, brooding melodies, and classic strings. For a decidedly accurate portrayal of Jessica''s sound, she is more conversational than Tori, brighter than Fiona, indie like Ani, tamer than Kate, wilder than Sarah, tortured like Aimee, raw like Regina, honest like Carole, plugged in like Imogen, and a voice that cuts to the core.
Jessica Penrose had her epiphany about being a performer at a very young age—and in the spirit of true indie tradition, did it “open mic” style.
“I was at a work party of my dad’s; they were doing a raffle and the emcee put down the mic,” she recalls. “I spotted it, climbed on stage and sang ‘Give, Said The Little Stream” to a very surprised—but adoring—crowd.”
Penrose loved the rush she got listening to the applause, and her path was set. But she says it wasn’t until her pre-teens, when she started songwriting, that her true evolution as an artist began.
Today, years away from grabbing an idle mic, the challenges are very different: “I''m the band, the artist, the songwriter, the tour manager, the designer, the roadie, the producer, the promoter,” she says. “I have a lot of different hats to wear as an indie artist, but as I grow and as the music spreads I hope to hand some of the responsibility to others.”
While the behind-the-scenes part of the business might present its challenges, the songwriting on her new album, Words Become Flesh (CakeCake Records), is the draw for thousands of new Penrose fans. She says her desire is to “capture experience” in her music; to “capture the feeling of taking a risk, and giving the world my falls.” Ask the up-and-coming songwriter if lyrics or melody lead, and you’ll get a decidedly thoughtful answer.
“Of course, both are important. That''s kind of like having two children and asking which one is more important to you,” she says. “If I was to have a favorite of the two children, I most certainly tend to dote on lyrics.”
It’s that focus on her lyrics that gives her audiences such a unique experience—something on which Penrose focuses. “I want them to feel. Just feel. We are so numbed out,” she says. “Someone hurts us, we wall ourselves off; something painful happens, we cop out emotionally because we don''t have faith in ourselves that we can make it through. Penrose says she strives to “get inside,” even if for just a moment to cause a “flicker or fire” in people. “I want people to be impressed to live their dreams, live life greater, better, and to allow themselves to be real, damn the consequences.”
Ask Jessica Penrose about the tension between artistic integrity and being commercially successful, and her answer is clear. “We are in a very unique situation right now, where indie artists are not only making more money than the majors but are also retaining most, if not all, artistic control,” she says. “It is the independent artist’s day and I plan on capitalizing on that; being able to make enough to do this and this alone as a career, as a life, is the plan. The more commercial success I have, the more people I can reach. That’s what it''s really about for me.”
For now, she is focused on her promoting Words Become Flesh and thinking about her dream gig: opening for Switchfoot. “I love the lyrics of their songs and the intent behind them,” she says. “I would love to reach their audience, and I would love to have the opportunity to tour with a highly successful band like that and remain independent.”
Considering Penrose’s current career trajectory, very soon the question may be who is opening for her.