Jocelyn Scofield
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Jocelyn Scofield

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Jocelyn Scofield is an indie singer-songwriter that reminds me a bit of Rachel Sage. She doesn’t really sound like Rachel Sage but she does have that same experimental feel to her music, unafraid to dabble in nearly any genre yet remain consistent from song to song. A good example is the semi-bluesy feel or “Better Off Alone.” Scofield vocally really wails on this song, it’s got more than a little soul and because of that it really draws you into it. Another moment that really struck me was “A Man I Once Knew.” This song firmly places the vocal and piano at the forefront. Scofield seems at her best when that is the case. O

verall This Life is hit and miss but more often than not it hits pretty well. I suggest checking out some song samples before buying but doesn’t everyone do that these days anyway?

Reviewed by: Mark Fisher - 1340 Magazine


Material: A natural storyteller, Jocelyn Scofield is a good descriptive songwriter whose songs paint colorful pictures. Her simple arrangements, coupled with her good tone and vocal range, draw the listener into the music. Scofield connects with her audience through facial expressions that animate the lyrics. With a slight mid-western twang, Scofield successfully brings back that feeling of the old West.

Musicianship: Although Scofield is more adept on the piano than guitar, it is her lyrics that move you. The songs could sound better with a stand-up bass and a jazz snare. Although her songs are in an adult contemporary format, Scofield seems more of a torch song diva.

Performance: Scofield’s opening song was a tribute to Michelangelo’s David. Her set covered a range of emotions, from love to the realization of being better off alone, and, finally, taking revenge. She provided excellent vocal runs in tunes that were simple but profound. Though her set was far too short, Scofield left her audience with much to take home from the show.

Summary: With a tongue-in-cheek style and a voice that’s easy on the ears, Jocelyn Scofield is a modern-day storyteller with lots to tell. She has the kind of voice you can listen to all night while kicking back and enjoying a conversation and good wine with your closest friends.

—Bob Leggett

- Bob Leggett


Artist: Jocelyn Scofield

CD: This Life

Home: Los Angeles, California

Style: Piano-Driven Pop/Rock

Quote: "A collection of complex and intellectual compositions that don’t sound too artsy."

By Jennifer Layton

Jocelyn Scofield is a true composer, not to mention a clever stylist. The blonde tresses on just the back of her head give her a halo effect in her photos, which matches the vibe of her music perfectly -- there is something very ethereal going on here. It’s also a bit goth in the energy and intensity, so she’s more of a dark angel. And her music will sweep over you like a suddenly approaching storm. This is passionate, sometimes operatic, always vibrant pop/rock with a voice like a gutsier Fiona Apple. You won’t be able to shake this off easily.

We open with the high-energy “Drive It Away,” which celebrates the therapeutic effect of just hitting the road. The first thing that struck me about Scofield’s music is that it’s played with majesty and deliberation while still be accessible and enveloping. In other words, her work is a collection of complex and intellectual compositions that don’t sound too artsy. I got wonderfully lost in this sound. These songs are primarily piano-driven, but she blends in the string arrangements and vocal harmonies that soften some of the edginess of her lyrics. Very Sgt Pepper-era Beatles.

One of the standouts is “Better Off Alone” with its changing tempos and moods. This woman does not worry about being radio-friendly, which is just fine with me. The vocal harmonies ring out with assertion and strength. Another standout is “David’s Oh,” a wonderfully clever and funny love song to Michelangelo’s Statue of David.

Sweet David please won’t you
Break out of that statue
I’ve traveled round and haven’t found
Your legendary assets

Such humor gives the added touch of balancing out the dramatic intensity of the rest of the album, which is why putting it in the very middle of the collection was smart move. And finally, we get the title track, in which the rarely-revealed sweet side of Scofield’s voice emerges in those blissfully high notes. A heavenly way to end the CD. - Indie-Music Magazine


Christian Czerwinski | NOISE

Jocelyn Scofield redefines the term "road warrior." The singer-songwriter lives the life of a rock star - a life minus the money, swank hotels, rampant partying and Kabbalah water.

The 26-year-old Michigan State grad is in the middle of her first national tour, a tour she planned all by herself. She rarely gets paid for her gigs and the money she does make comes from the sales of her $10 CD, $2 of which goes toward the Habitat for Humanity's Operation Home Delivery.

When she's on the road, instead of staying in hotels, she stays with extended family, friends, or friends of friends.

"As far as touring goes, it's kind of risky," she said.

While she might be a touring novice, Scofield's soulful pipes, which share similarities to Fiona Apple's, can't be denied. On her album This Life, she explores emotional immaturity and relationships while wrapping her voice around funky and spiritual piano and drum loops.

Lyrically, the album offers not only shards of acid-bathed introspection, but a degree of honesty anyone can understand. Some of the songs document her experiences with relationships, but not in the "you cheated on me, I'm going to go" vein. Other songs were inspired by folks like her grandmother and her anger over losing her daughter to cancer.

"I have a lyric that goes 'This life is for the living. This life is for the ones you hold on to,'" Scofield said. "There's a lot of variety on the album."

Before she left and rented out her apartment in Los Angeles, Scofield started looking for places to stay while on the road. She had family in about a third of the places she was going. Once she had that covered, she asked people she knew if they knew anyone from the other cities along her tour. So far, in a couple of cities, she hasn't had a place to crash.

"I had two gigs in Omaha (Neb.), and I had no place to stay. My mom is a teacher and she asked if anyone in her school knew anyone in Omaha. She called me that afternoon and told me that a counselor at her school had a friend whose parents lived in Omaha. I got the number. I called on the road and (asked) if it was all right for me to stay," she said. "I was supposed to get in at like 11 (p.m.) but I played later."

When she got to the house, she found the downstairs unlocked and went to sleep. When she woke up the next day, the homeowner had already left for the day.

"I never actually met the person," she said.

Raised in Chicago, Scofield moved to Los Angeles a little under two years ago. She graduated from MSU with a degree in music education and could have been a teacher. But just like any fabled rags-to-riches music saga, she didn't want to lock herself into a professional gig, opting instead to work in a secretarial position in the music industry.

She started playing local gigs in the ultra-competitive scene and after getting fired from her job, she knew she had to make a record and tour. She figured out a way to live for three months (doing surveys and cleaning for cash).

She hosted a CD release party on Nov. 18 in Los Angeles and then launched her tour which comes to a close in mid-January.

"It is very like a one-woman kind of show. I haven't done this before, so it's a learning process," Scofield said. "Since I'm doing it myself, people (bookers) in the clubs and bars immediately view me as unprofessional."

Packing her piano and belongings into her small Saturn and traversing the country has its downfalls. For example, she was in Montana driving in between two mountains in the snow and she spun out. There were no cars on the road. She had no cell phone reception. Luckily, her fears of falling off the mountain and being found by hikers in the spring weren't realized.

Scofield knows there are thousands of musicians clawing their way to the top. She knows she could have gone back for a master's degree. But she also knows that for now, she's doing what she loves.

"I don't want to do anything else," she said. "My ideal life is being able to write, perform and travel. If I didn't think it was possible I wouldn't do it. There's just nothing else I want to do so here I am." - Lansing Noise


Jocelyn Scofield starts her debut with the song “Drive it Away”. It’s an excellent showcase for her strong vocals and piano playing. Vocally she has the same force as Jewel once had, and some of Fiona Apple’s jazz inflections.

“Vanilla Dreams” is a soft, string-led ballad.

“Better off Alone” is a neat end of the affair type song. Scofield’s singing is close to Allison Crowe’s here. The bluesy timbre is beguiling.

The catchy “David’s Oh” is delightful. Scofield has made a compelling pop song. It might be a hit if it gets the chance.

This is a strong debut.

Posted on January 12, 2006 - Anna Maria Stjärnell


Discography

Unplugged and Unorganized (2006)
This Life (2005)

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Jocelyn Scofield is a dynamic and multi-talented singer/songwriter working hard to carve her own path in the music business. Music Connection Magazine recently called her “a natural storyteller and Indie-Music Magazine said she has “a voice like a gutsier Fiona Apple,” to whom she is most often compared. However, you won’t find any knock-offs in her sound. It unmistakably her own with a style that combines her greatest musical influences-pop, folk, and jazz.

Jocelyn has performed in venues ranging from tiny coffeehouses to the 61,000-seat Soldier Field Stadium in Chicago. As a native or Michigan and a transplant in Los Angeles, Jocelyn has had the opportunity to play venues all throughout the United States.

In November of 2005, Jocelyn released her debut album, This Life. Upon the release of This Life, she embarked on a two-month national tour. With just her gear and clothes, Jocelyn traveled solo 13,000 miles across country, playing thirty-two shows in twenty-five states from November through January. The tour was in support of the Habitat for Humanity’s Operation Home Delivery for which she raised five hundred dollars. After completing the tour, Jocelyn found another outlet for her songwriting-writing for others. She began co-writing songs with Grammy Award-winning songwriter/producer, Rick Hahn and Bobby Tomberlin (Faith Hill, Kenny Rogers). She currently has a song being recorded by a new Disney teen pop group.

Most recently, Jocelyn released Unplugged and Unorganized, a stripped-down acoustic EP that highlights her wide range of songwriting styles and pitch-perfect voice. From August through October of 2006, Jocelyn toured nationally for the second time performing in an eclectic mix of restaurant/bars, vineyards, festivals, and music cafes. Having toured over six months during the last year, played over 100 shows, and driven over 40,000 miles, Jocelyn is taking a break from touring to write for her next album and book a summer tour. When not touring, Jocelyn splits her time between Michigan & California.