Jenny Owen Youngs

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Jenny Owen Youngs
Jenny Owen Youngs 1.jpg
Youngs performing in Portland, Oregon's Mississippi Studios
Background information
Born (1981-11-22) November 22, 1981 (age 37)
OriginNewton, New Jersey, U.S.
GenresIndie pop, alternative, indie folk
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, bass, flute, tuba
Years active2005–present

Jenny Owen Youngs (born November 22, 1981) is an American singer-songwriter.[1] She has released three albums and a handful of EPs both independently and via Nettwerk Records,[2][3] and has toured worldwide. Youngs is also a songwriting collaborator whose cuts include the 2018 Panic! at the Disco single "High Hopes,[4]" Shungudzo's "Come On Back" from the Fifty Shades Freed soundtrack, and Pitbull's 2016 single "Bad Man",[5] which debuted at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards.[6]

Youngs' songs have been used in TV shows such as Weeds,[7] Grey's Anatomy, Nurse Jackie, Suburgatory, and Switched at Birth. In 2017, her 2012 song "Wake Up" was featured over the end credits of Bojack Horseman's season 4 finale. On March 28, 2018, it was announced that Youngs would work as the composer for Muscle Memory,[8] a short film directed by Carly Usdin being made as a part of the American Film Institute's Directing Workshop for Women.[9]

Early life and education[edit]

Raised in Newton, New Jersey, Youngs grew up playing the flute in elementary school and the tuba in junior high school.[10][11] At age 14, her older step-brother told her that if she wanted to be in a band she needed to learn how to play the guitar. She graduated from State University of New York at Purchase with a degree in studio composition.[12][13]

Music career[edit]

As a solo artist[edit]

Batten the Hatches[edit]

Youngs' first album Batten the Hatches was recorded with borrowed equipment at SUNY-Purchase and self-released in 2005.[14][13] While at Austin's South by Southwest, Youngs met Gary Calamar, the music supervisor of Showtime's Weeds, which led to her song "Fuck Was I" appearing in Weeds' second-season premiere.[10] The notoriety resulted in a contract with Canadian indie label Nettwerk Records.[10] Nettwerk Records re-released her album Batten the Hatches on April 10, 2007, with new artwork and an additional song ("Drinking Song").[15][16] Newsweek called the album a top pick, complimenting Youngs' "simple, stripped-down guitar" and her "edgy lyrics and sweetly sung melodies".[17] The Sydney Morning Herald described the album as an "accomplished debut".[18]

"Fuck Was I" was also released on Weeds: Music from the Original Series, Vol. 2.

Transmitter Failure[edit]

Youngs released her second album, Transmitter Failure, on May 26, 2009.[19] She supported Regina Spektor in her 2009 tour promoting the album Far.[10]

Youngs collaborated with Xian Hawkins under the moniker Bell Horses, which resulted in the album This Loves Last Time (2009). In the fall of 2009, Youngs performed alongside Chuck Ragan, Jim Ward, Tim Barry, Joey Cape, Dave Hause, Frank Turner, and others as part of the 2009 Revival Tour.[20]

An Unwavering Band Of Light[edit]

On July 1, 2010, Youngs launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund her third album and reached her goal of $20,000 in 28 hours. Her drummer, Elliot Jacobson, had his chest waxed as an incentive to reach the goal. The campaign ended on August 13, 2010 with a total of $38,543 and 646 backers. On February 7, 2012 the Kickstarter-backed third studio album, titled An Unwavering Band of Light was released.[21] In 2017, a song from that album, "Wake Up", appeared over the end titles of the season Four finale of Netflix's Bojack Horseman.

Side Projects, touring, and other releases[edit]

On April 5, 2018, Youngs released the song "Won't Let Go of Me" which was featured in the Grey's Anatomy episode "Hold Back The River" (Season 14, Episode 18). The song was written with Aaron Espe and Kyle Neal. Neal produced the song while Espe was credited as a co-producer.

On March 28, 2018, it was announced that Youngs would work as the composer for Muscle Memory,[22] a short film directed by Carly Usdin being made as a part of the American Film Institute's Directing Workshop for Women.[23]

Youngs has toured worldwide headlining and also supporting artists such as Regina Spektor,[24] Against Me!,[25] Frank Turner,[26] and Streetlight Manifesto.[27]

In January, 2013, she was announced to rejoin The Revival Tour, where she performed alongside Chuck Ragan, Rocky Votolato, Dave Hause, Jenny O., and Tim McIlrath of Rise Against.[28]

In December 2012, Youngs began her Exhibit project in which she visited a New York City museum one a week, recording a song inspired by her visit within the same week. The album was released on Bandcamp and consists of 8 tracks.[29]

Youngs covered "Have You Forgotten" by Red House Painters for American Laundromat Records's charity CD "Sing Me To Sleep - Indie Lullabies" released in Spring 2010. In March 2010, Youngs toured with Bess Rogers and A.W. on their 'Spring Break Forever Tour', after which she flew out to the United Kingdom to support Motion City Soundtrack on their London, Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow tour. She headlined a show at "Monto Water Rats" in London in April 2010.

In addition to her solo career, Youngs was a member of the band The Robot Explosion, a side project with fellow musicians and friends Bess Rogers, Andrew Futral, and Saul Simon-MacWilliams.

Youngs has toured with Vienna Teng, opening for the singer on the Green Caravan Tour, and opened for Aimee Mann at London's indigO2 on 27 July 2007. Youngs toured with Glen Phillips of Toad the Wet Sprocket in August 2007, and with Sean Hayes, with whom she co-headlined. She played in Belgium, Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden in November and December 2007.

Co-writing and recent years[edit]

In 2015, Youngs moved to Los Angeles[30] where she is working on her next album and co-writing with and for other artists. Youngs' notable cuts include Panic! at the Disco's 2018 single "High Hopes",[31] the 2018 song from the Fifty Shades Freed soundtrack, "Come On Back", which she co-wrote with Shungudzo and producer Jordan Palmer and appeared in both the film and on the soundtrack, "Miss America", which she co-wrote with Ingrid Michaelson and others for Michaelson's 2016 album It Doesn't Have to Make Sense, and Pitbull's 2016 single "Bad Man",[32] which was debuted at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards.[33] She also worked closely with Brett Dennen and Dan Wilson to write three of the five songs on Dennen's 2018 EP, Let's... including the title track. Youngs often collaborates with her friends Chris Farren and A.W.

Buffering the Vampire Slayer[edit]

In September 2016, Youngs launched the podcast Buffering The Vampire Slayer with her then wife, Kristin Russo. The podcast discusses the popular television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer one episode at a time, and each episode ends with an original recap song about the episode, penned by Youngs and Russo.[34] The podcast is part of the Stitcher Premium network and has been featured in A.V. Club,[35] Entertainment Weekly,[36] Autostraddle,[37] and Buzzfeed.[38]

Personal life[edit]

On June 12, 2013, Youngs came out, announcing "I am super gay", and that she was engaged to marry her girlfriend Kristin Russo,[39][40] whom she married on August 25, 2013. On May 25, 2018, the couple announced they are no longer together but remain friends and will keep working in their mutual projects. Both of them said, "We've come to realize that we will be better—both to ourselves and to each other—within the context of a friendship, rather than a marriage."



Year Album details
2005 (re-released 2007) Batten the Hatches
  • Released:
  • Label: self-released (re-released by Nettwerk)
  • Format: CD
2009 Transmitter Failure
2012 An Unwavering Band of Light
  • Released: February 7, 2012
  • Label: self-released
  • Format: CD, LP


  • "Split" with Dave House - UK vinyl 12" single released April 2007 Gravity DIP Records
  • "Fuck Was I" UK single released May 2007 Nettwerk Music Group
  • "Things We Don't Need Anymore" digital single released by Nettwerk Music Group
  • "Great Big Plans" digital single released June 2011
  • "Jenny Owen Youngs and A.W. Sing The Magnetic Fields" vinyl 7" single released September 2013 by Asbestos Records



Song Album Release Date
"Not On Your Own"[41] The Gayest Compilation Ever Made Volume II January 14. 2014

Co-writing credits[edit]

Year Artist Album Song
2015 A.W. New Love (SideOneDummy Records) "Good Way"
"Golden Coast"
2016 Zach Jones & The Tricky Bits Rendezvous With A Comet "Mushroom Suit"
Ingrid Michaelson It Doesn't Have to Make Sense (Cabin 24 Records / Mom + Pop Music) "Miss America"
2017 Bo Talks ft. Sarah Hyland Know U Anymore - Single (Proximity / Geffen) "Know U Anymore"
Ingrid Michaelson ft. Sara Bareilles Alter Egos (Cabin 24 Records) "Miss America"
Jasmine Murray Jasmine Murray (Fair Trade / Columbia) "Into Words"
Pitbull ft. Robin Thicke, Joe Perry, and Travis Barker Climate Change (RCA Records) "Bad Man"
2018 Brett Dennen Here's Looking at You Kid EP (Downtown Records) "People I Love"
Panic! at the Disco Pray For The Wicked (Fueled By Ramen / DCD2 Records) "High Hopes"
"Roaring 20s"
Brett Dennen Let's... EP (Downtown Records) "Let's..."
"Home Away From Home"
"Jenny and Jill"
Ashley Campbell The Lonely One "Wish I Wanted To"
Shungudzo Fifty Shades Freed Soundtrack (Universal / Republic) "Come On Back"


  1. ^ La Gorce, Tammy. "Sure, I Rock, but I Need Health Care", The New York Times, May 24, 2006. Accessed October 24, 2007. "To get it, Ms. Owen Youngs, 24, who shares an apartment in Montclair with a roommate, drives an hour northwest every weekday to Shanachie Records in Newton."
  2. ^ "Jenny Owen Youngs: Transmitter Failure". PopMatters. Retrieved May 28, 2009.
  3. ^ "Jenny Owen Youngs makes a shiny new record!". Kickstarter. Retrieved 2012-05-28.
  4. ^ "Panic! at the Disco - High Hopes Stream". Spin. Retrieved 2018-05-23.
  5. ^ "Pitbull Ft. Robin Thicke, Joe Perry, Travis Barker - Bad Man". Discogs. Retrieved 2017-08-10.
  6. ^ "Pitbull Recruits Robin Thicke, Travis Barker for 'Bad Man' at Grammys". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2017-08-10.
  7. ^ Mintzer, Cori (August 18, 2006). "'Weeds' still addictive in its second season". Oregon Daily Emerald (University of Oregon).
  8. ^ "Muscle Memory: a short film". Seed&Spark. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  9. ^ "Muscle Memory: a short film". Seed&Spark. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  10. ^ a b c d Derogatis, Katie (February 13, 2007). "Girl with guitar soundtracks 'Weeds'". Washington Square News (New York University).
  11. ^ Ensminger, Kristina (April 10, 2007). "Jenny Owen Youngs". Spin. Retrieved 2015-06-28.
  12. ^ McLaughlin, Moira E. (August 19, 2010). "Jenny Owens Youngs finds inspiration in the dark". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved June 28, 2015.
  13. ^ a b "The Sound of Youngs' America: One singer-songwriter you have to hear". Fairfield County Weekly (Bridgeport, Connecticut). November 10, 2005.
  14. ^ "Nothing to Write Home About with Matt Pryor". April 4, 2014. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
  15. ^ "Jenny Owen Youngs - Batten The Hatches". Discogs. Retrieved June 28, 2015.
  16. ^ Shuster, Fred (April 10, 2007). "Hear Today: Stax in Spotlight for 50th Anniversary". Daily News of Los Angeles. p. U5.
  17. ^ "The Checklist". Newsweek. April 16, 2007. p. 103.
  18. ^ Wright, Rachel (May 4, 2007). "CD reviews". The Sydney Morning Herald. p. 18.
  19. ^ "Album Review: Transmitter Failure". Count Me Out. Retrieved 2009-05-26.
  20. ^ "About The Tour". Revival Tour. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
  21. ^ "Jenny Owen Youngs makes a shiny new record!". Kickstarter. Retrieved May 28, 2012.
  22. ^ "Muscle Memory: a short film". Seed&Spark. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  23. ^ "Muscle Memory: a short film". Seed&Spark. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  24. ^ "Jenny Owen Youngs". Song Facts. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  25. ^ "Against Me! touring with Jenny Owen Youngs and Creepoid (who's touring w/ Balance & Composure and Seahaven)". Brooklyn Vegan. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
  26. ^ "Best Tour Ever: Frank Turner, Larry & His Flask, Jenny Owen Youngs September US Dates". The Ruckus. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
  27. ^ "Punks in Vegas". Punks in Vegas. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  28. ^ "Coming To A Town Near You: The 2013 Revival Tour". American Songwriter. January 11, 2013. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
  29. ^ "EXHIBIT | Jenny Owen Youngs". December 4, 2012. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
  30. ^ "kristinnoeline: i'm moving". Tumblr. Retrieved November 17, 2015.
  31. ^ "Panic! at the Disco - High Hopes Stream". Spin. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  32. ^ "Pitbull Ft. Robin Thicke, Joe Perry, Travis Barker - Bad Man". Discogs. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  33. ^ "Pitbull Recruits Robin Thicke, Travis Barker for 'Bad Man' at Grammys". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  34. ^ "Rejoice, For Kristin Russo and Jenny Owen Youngs Have A Podcast About Buffy the Vampire Slayer". Autostraddle. Retrieved September 7, 2016.
  35. ^ "Buffering the Vampire Slayer Fawns Over Cordelia, Drusilla, and the whole Scooby gang". The A.V. Club. March 7, 2017. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  36. ^ "EW Must List". Entertainment Weekly. September 29, 2016. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  37. ^ "Rejoice, For Kristin Russo and Jenny Owen Youngs Have A Podcast About Buffy the Vampire Slayer". Autostraddle. Retrieved September 7, 2016.
  38. ^ "27 Podcasts You Need To Start Listening To In 2018". BuzzFeed. February 8, 2018. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  39. ^ "Dear friend, I'm writing to tell you, among other". June 12, 2013. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
  40. ^ Sieczkowski, Cavan (June 17, 2013). "Jenny Owen Youngs Gay: Folk Singer Comes Out, Reveals She Is Engaged". The Huffington Post. Retrieved June 17, 2013.
  41. ^ "The Gayest Compilation Ever Made Volume II, by Everyone Is Gay". Everyone Is Gay. Retrieved 2017-02-11.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]