Jenn Lindsay

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Jenn Lindsay
Born (1978-10-18) October 18, 1978 (age 38)
Amarillo, Texas, United States
Genres Anti-folk, Urban Folk
Occupation(s) singer/songwriter, non-profit staff, playwright, video editor
Instruments Vocals, Guitar
Years active 1998-present
Labels No Evil Star Records, Waterbug Records
Notable instruments
piano, banjo, baritone ukulele, mandolin, drums, keyboard, xylophone, Vietnamese dan mo, tambourine, floor tom, marxophone, harmonica

Jenn Lindsay (born October 18, 1978 in Amarillo, Texas) is an American anti-folk singer/songwriter based in New York City. Her music blends elements of folk music, indie rock, and protest songs. She is the founder of No Evil Star Records, an independent social action record label, and through it she has released seven studio albums. Her fifth record was released through Waterbug Records, an artists' cooperative record label based in Chicago, run by Andrew Calhoun. She has shared the stage with Regina Spektor, Jeffrey Lewis, Kimya Dawson, Alix Olson, Chris Barron, Erin McKeown, Lach, Girlyman and Toshi Reagon, primarily through her association with the anti-folk music scene based in the East Village of New York City. According to her website, Jenn plays music “for the jobless, the brave, and the indignant.”[1] She has a degree in playwriting from Stanford University and recently attended a graduate program at Yale School of Drama. Her music is featured on compilation albums by the ACLU, SBS Records, Waterbug Records, and Stanford University. Her song “White Room” is used as the theme song to “Something Blue,” a television pilot by Brooklyn filmmaker Emily Millay Haddad. Jenn Lindsay has recorded her last six albums with Major Matt Mason USA of the New York anti-folk scene, and works frequently with Bryant Moore (Sneaky Theieves, Bryant Moore and the Celestial Shore) on drum and bass arrangements. In 2014 she released her tenth studio album.


Jenn Lindsay grew up in San Diego, California, where she attended Grossmont High School and sang in the Red Robe Choir under the tutelage of Edwin Basilo. She played in a folk band with her calculus teacher, covering artists such as Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, the Indigo Girls, and the Beatles. She started writing songs after attending the Lilith Fair in 1998 and resolving to join the ranks of the featured female singer-songwriters. Her songwriting attracted attention when she was a student at Stanford University, where she headlined Take Back the Night Marches and taught songwriting to victims of domestic abuse at the Peninsula YMCA in the Bay Area. Jenn Lindsay started gigging professionally at age 19 while on a “year abroad” in the acting program at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts. She moved to New York City in 2001 and was named the “best female singer-songwriter in NYC”[2] by online radio station Radio Crystal Blue. Since Jenn started touring nationally, she has played her songs in exchange for free catfish in Alabama, sang to a room full of friendly cowgirls in Amarillo Texas, entertained in Vegas, and played encores to Ladyfest attendees in Memphis, Brooklyn, Santa Cruz and Ottawa. In addition to appearing at universities and coffee shops, Jenn has played LadyFests, BMI Showcases, the New York Songwriters Circle, political rallies at Rockefeller Center, and many bars and coffee shops throughout North America.

Jenn Lindsay’s sixth and seventh studio albums, Uphill Both Ways and Perfect Handful, were both financed entirely by her fans. Jenn Lindsay writes that her album Uphill Both Ways is, “A declaration of independence, a love letter, a primal scream, and a homecoming announcement. It’s a pageant of change, growing up, grief, and the little things that get us out of bed in the morning.”[3] One of the hallmarks of Jenn Lindsay’s work is the grassroots, low-fi set up of Olive Juice Studios, where the drum kit rests on a bedspread, the microphone pop filter is a sock stretched over a coat hanger, and percussion sounds include apples and a pen dragged over the wire of a spiral notebook. To keep costs down on her albums Uphill Both Ways, Perfect Handful and A For Effort, Jenn Lindsay learned to play as many instruments as she could: the guitar, piano, banjo, baritone ukulele, mandolin, drums, keyboard, xylophone, the Vietnamese dan mo, the marxophone and the harmonica. The most difficult, she says, was the tambourine.

“Something good has to come out of the current economic downturn, right? Well, here’s one: anti-folk singer-songwriter Jenn Lindsay.”[4] (Amy Phillips, Village Voice) remarks, “Jenn Lindsay has her finger right on the pulse of the whole wide world of working people everywhere.”[5] That’s probably due to the string of frustrating day jobs and subway-platform performances that supported her when she was not actively gigging. Even though Rambles Magazine believes that “If some of her songs were given the exposure that they deserve, New York would be one receptionist short but the folk world would be one star richer,”[6] the impoverished struggle of being a solo artist in NYC sent Jenn out onto the road, booking her own shows, leading college workshops, and forming traveling collectives with other emerging artists. In NYC, Jenn's musical community is the anti-folk scene, a hub of musicians based in the East Village's Sidewalk Cafe, who share a mutual distaste for well-packaged mainstream music. Her music, "delicate and tough...stark urban imagery"[7] (San Diego Union-Tribune), showcases "a talent well-versed in the field of social protest music” [8](Stanford Daily).


  • Bring It On (2000)
  • The Story of What Works (2001)
  • Gotta Lotta (2002)
  • Fired! (2003)
  • The Last New York Horn (2004)
  • Uphill Both Ways (2006)
  • Perfect Handful (2006)
  • A For Effort (2008)
  • Prospect Hearts (2011)
  • Allora Eccola (2014)

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