who am i?*
human woman who makes americana+dream pop music based in Nashville, TN.
* like you, i wish i had all the right answers to this question. here’s a bio to suffice…
In the five years since her debut album, Nashville-based indie rock artist Jen Starsinic has been through some serious shit.
“Everything might not be alright,” she sings in the title track from her unreleased, unannounced EP to be released winter 2020.
Unreleased songs like this one are already cult classics among the local music scene in her adopted hometown of Nashville, TN. It’s a city where Starsinic has been playing local rock clubs over the last few years, evolving her sound from a sparse indie folk to a more full-band oriented alternative rock. Where her mellow denim androgyny and sharp, emotionally honest lyrics (an ode to her musical upbringing in the diy punk inspired rural old time scene in West Virginia) stands out authentically amongst a sea of hyper-branded formulaic country writers. Where people like local pedal steel legend Paul Niehaus (Calexico, Iron and Wine, Justin Townes Earle) and acclaimed Americana artist Becky Warren heard her songs and helped drive her new music forward. Where she lives on the edge of town and plays guitar, in continuation of the suburban boredom and electric ambience of her central-Pennsylvanian adolescence. And where local audiences, in a community torn asunder by rapid over-development, can be found shouting along with Starsinic “when I’m alone, I feel fucking lonely" with paradoxical, cathartic glee.
Lyrics like this hint at the story behind Starsinic’s long break from recording, and why this professional fiddler—once hailed as the “next great voice of folk music” after 2014’s The Flood and the Fire—is now releasing a decidedly un-folk album without a single fiddle part. And far from being the sad, introspective sound you might expect to come out of difficult times, Starsinic’s new music is brash and confident, full of pulsing guitars and feedback and thumping drums alongside Starsinic’s sharp lyrics and dreamy vocals.
praise for The Flood and the Fire (2014)
““Jen Starsinic has nailed her statement to the mast as a songwriter.” – Americana UK
“Vocally, she brings to mind the unselfconscious, plaintive depth and nuance of a young Erica Smith. Likewise, her songs run the gamut of Americana both old and new, from newgrass, to oldschool honkytonk, to more psychedelic pastoral sounds. Such a strong debut effort portends even better things for Starsinic: she’s somebody to keep an eye on.” - New York Music Daily
“The eleven songs are all self-penned and show a depth and maturity that is rare in a new artist.” - Lonesome Highway
“Each tune represents an aching, a longing, and the snapshot the record offers into the musical soul of Jen Starsinic is startling; this young woman is most certainly a rising voice in contemporary Americana.” - Trail Mix, Blue Ridge Outdoors
“She combines a beautiful voice, powerful guitar, and virtuosic fiddle skills with her stunning talent as a songwriter. And yet the album doesn’t feel like anything created by your typical “singer-songwriter.” It feels more like a celebration of the way music draws people closer together, forming new friendships with each song.” - Americana Daily