Jessica Penrose
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Jessica Penrose

| INDIE

| INDIE
Band Alternative Singer/Songwriter

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Cornerhouse Studio

Jessica Penrose is an American Idol auditions reject. Gosh, darn it, the judges were dead wrong. The woman has pipes! Penrose also has a knack for writing nakedly honest, dark-and-edgy song lyrics aimed straight at the deepest chambers of the human heart. The first track, “I Am,” opens on a vulnerable note, with Penrose silkily confessing to a laundry list of vices and contradictory behaviors. Courageously, she proclaims: “I’m a liar. I’m a cheater. I’m a saint. I’m a sinner. I am weaker. I am stronger than I’ve ever been. I am. I am.”

Penrose’s vocal style falls into the Alanis Morrisette mode, but she is definitely creating a strong individualistic imprint. In quicksilver fashion, Penrose shifts seamlessly from belting out piano-led, soulful melodies to sassing it up on tracks that crackle with lighthearted flirtatious energy - such as “Falling Asleep,” a playful ode to lovesickness. It is appealing and would probably do well as an alternative pop single release even though the less commercial, Christianity-infused “Glory Be” and spirited and folksy “Free Bird” are the best vehicles for Penrose’s considerable vocal talent.

Fans of alternative-indie pop songs with a spiritual bent will likely play Words Become Flesh until its tracks disintegrate into dust.

Review by Rachelle Nones - The Feminist Review


"Chocolate for the ears"

"Jessica Penrose's latest release is her best to date. With soothing melodies, a rich voice, and words that strike the heart, her songs not only touch the soul but move the mind. Listen to it with a cup of hot cocoa and a roaring fire or a tall glass of lemonade and a porch swing (depending on the weather)."
Crystal Liechty (Jul 19, 2007) - Crystal Liechty



This sophomore release by Jessica Penrose starts off with police sirens, moving into a strong piano line shortly after. The piano line bolsters the vocals on the track, which are reminiscent of a Tori Amos of an Alanis Morrisette. Unlike these two artists, however, Penrose adds a little bit of electronic influence to the fold. The sequenced drums during this opening track place Penrose on a path that is completely eir own. On this new path, Penrose is able to give listeners something qualitatively different to appreciate. This different sound is furthered by the familiar yet distinct sound of Penrose's voice, which is able to draw influence from female artists in the field but adds Penrose's soul to the mix. Where "I Am" was a quicker, memorable track on its' own, the title track to "Words Become Flesh" is slower and much more soulful. Penrose's output on these two tracks is at diametrically-opposed poles in regards to tempo and overall sound. The decision to put two different songs so close together is a smart one for Penrose, as it is another lure for fans to bite on, should they not completely be behind Penrose at the conclusion of "I Am".
"Falling Asleep" links together both "I Am" and "Words Become Flesh" in that the tempo and feeling of the track exist in a middle ground between the aforementioned tracks. "Falling Asleep" has a better chance to break it big, as it uses the strongest elements from the previous two tracks. Of particular interest during this track has to be the bass line, which will undoubtedly remind listeners of a mesh of Eagles and Rush bass lines. While "Falling Asleep" uses a combination of various sounds and styles previously present on "Words Become Flesh", "Learn To Live" creates threads leading back to earlier tracks on the disc. This is most audibly heard in the simple, cutting piano lines that act as the backdrop for the track, in what seems to be a homage to the first track on the disc.
"Freebird" shows a different side for Penrose. The piano and all percussive instruments united to make exclamation points to Penrose's vocals on this track. Penrose's vocals create a chorus that is extremely catchy. If Penrose wants to receive radio play, chances would be best if ey included a note with each copy of "Words Become Flesh" to listen to this magnum opus, this "Freebird". Pick this album up if you want to hear a re-envisioning of what being a strong singer in the pop domain sounds like.
Top Tracks: Freebird, Words Become Flesh
Rating: 7.0/10
- NeuFutur Magazine


Discography

Debut Album: Eve's fault 2005
Words Become Flesh: 2007

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Bio

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.”

In 2007 Jessica founded DC2512 Productions, a company dedicated to providing and promoting authentic music with empowering themes. "There are so many terrible messages in mainstream music. The whole sex, drugs and rock and roll thing. We are dedicated to bringing great music to the world, and using it to empower and inspire. Music isn't just about music, it either stands for something greater than itself or it defaults to a weaker master. It has the power to create or destroy." The DC2512 Tour will run in 2008 nationwide bringing music to the masses from four unique and talented bands, with one goal: to change the world.

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 booking next years DC2512 Tour. She is also looking forward to the release of her 3rd album in late 2008.