Jenny Gillespie
Gig Seeker Pro

Jenny Gillespie

Chicago, Illinois, United States

Chicago, Illinois, United States
Band Pop Singer/Songwriter




"Natural talent"

"Light Year displays much potential. It stands firmly as a solid testament to the natural talent of its creator, but even more so as the early imprint of a prepatent artist who could generate waves around the songwriting community in the years to come." - Fig and Mint

"Beautiful and beguiling"

"Light Year evokes Day-Glo imagery and idyllic settings, pondered ever so sweetly through poetry and prose. She graces these fragile soundscapes with subtlety and flair, utilizing primarily piano and acoustic guitar, which are then tastefully embellished by bells, accordion, cello, fiddle, mandolin and pedal steel. Yet despite the richness of the arrangements, the songs never feel over-indulgent, radiating instead a shimmer, sparkle and gentle sway that’s ever so beautiful and beguiling. In fact, the entire set is so unerringly mesmerizing, it’s a challenge to distinguish a single standout, although “Vanishing Point,” “Littleblood,” and “Hummingbirds” certainly vie for that distinction. However, with the songs maintaining such low wattage, it may also be necessary to submit to more than a cursory listening – in fact, several may be required before true seduction sets in. Yet be assured that once its given those repeated encounters, Light Year will shine that much stronger." - Eat Sleep Drink Music

"Similar to Bon Iver"

"The album is short, but in a way similar to Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago, it works best that way. Light Year is strong from start to finish, presenting the listener with a blend of dark and light material, giving her audience just the right amount of breathing room from the dark moments that we become so absorbed in. - Tandem Shop


Love and Ammunition EP-2004
Light Year-2009
Belita EP-to be released February 2012



Jenny Gillespie's new EP Belita is an intoxicating blend of folk, indie pop and post-rock, produced by Jenny and multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily (Jolie Holland, Bonnie Prince Billy, Lou Reed.) In 2011, Gillespie had already self-produced 2 albums, the lush chamber folk of Light Year (2009) and the ambient progressive pop of Kindred (2010). After these musical journeys and turning thirty, Gillespie became more and more drawn to acoustic-based music, returning to the sound she first loved when she first picked up a guitar as a teenager. She wanted to strip things down, while maintaining a slanted, atmospheric element to her work, and spent time learning covers of Vashti Bunyan, Bert Jansch and Neil Young, and studying African and fingerpicking-style guitar at the Old Town School of Folk Music. Meeting by chance via a YouTube cover Gillespie performed of Sam Amidon's Saro, Ismaily, Amidon's longtime bandmate, contacted Jenny to share his appreciation of her version. From there a conversation grew about a possible collaboration, and Gillespie traveled from her hometown of Chicago to New York City to record a new work with Ismaily over the course of 2 weeks. They discovered common north stars of their musical vocabulary (Vashti Bunyan, Mark Kozelek, Joni Mitchell's Hejira, and Ali Farke Toure, among others) and decided they would create something that truly featured Gillespie's unique acoustic guitar playing, set often to open tunings inspired by Gillespie's most beloved influence, Joni Mitchell. The resulting EP, featuring turns by Amidon on back up vocals, Marc Ribot (Tom Waits) on electric guitar, and Jim White (PJ Harvey, Cat Power) on drums, is a nuanced and modern approach to the folk genre--globally influenced, but intimately rendered, with precise yet imaginative instrumentation; the listener will wander into and find new surprises, over repeated listens.