Jenny Owen Youngs

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Jenny Owen Youngs
Jenny Owen Youngs 1.jpg
Youngs performing, as the opening act for Vienna Teng, in Portland, Oregon's Mississippi Studios. Photo by Adam J. Manley.
Background information
Born (1981-11-22) November 22, 1981 (age 36)
Genres Indie Pop, Alternative, Indie Folk
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals, guitar, bass, flute, tuba
Years active 2005–present
Labels Nettwerk

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] She has toured worldwide, headlining and also supporting artists such as Regina Spektor,[4] Against Me!,[5] Frank Turner,[6] Motion City Soundtrack,[7] and Streetlight Manifesto.[8]

Youngs is also a songwriting collaborator whose cuts include "Let's...," "Home Away From Home," and "Jenny and Jill," which she wrote with Brett Dennen and Dan Wilson for Dennen's 2018 EP Let's..., "Miss America", which she wrote with Ingrid Michaelson and others for Michaelson's 2016 album It Doesn't Have to Make Sense,[9] Pitbull's 2016 single "Bad Man",[10] which debuted at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards,[11] and "Come On Back", which she co-wrote with Shungudzo and producer Jordan Palmer; it was released on the Fifty Shades Freed soundtrack and appeared in the 2018 film.

Education and early years[edit]

Youngs grew up playing the flute in elementary school and the tuba in junior high school.[12] 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.[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] In 2006, a song from that album, "Fuck Was I", appeared in the second season premiere of Showtime's Weeds, resulting in Batten the Hatches being re-released on April 10, 2007 with new artwork and an extra track ("Drinking Song") on the Canadian indie label Nettwerk.[15] "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.[16] She supported Regina Spektor in her 2009 tour promoting the album Far. She has 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.[17]

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.[18] 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]

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.[19]

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.[20]

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.

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.

Co-Writing and Recent Years[edit]

In 2015, Youngs moved to Los Angeles[21] where she is working on her next album and co-writing with and for other artists. Youngs' notable cuts include 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",[22] which was debuted at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards.[23] 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. Most recently, she received writing credit for her work on Panic! at the Disco’s third single, “High Hopes,” from their upcoming 2018 album Pray for the Wicked.[24]

Writing Credits[edit]

Year Artist Album Song
2018 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"
Shungudzo Fifty Shades Freed Soundtrack (Universal / Republic) "Come On Back"
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"
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"
2015 A.W. New Love (SideOneDummy Records) "Good Way"
"Golden Coast"

Buffering the Vampire Slayer[edit]

In September 2016, Youngs launched the podcast Buffering The Vampire Slayer with her 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.[25] The podcast is part of the Stitcher Premium network and has been featured in A.V. Club,[26] Entertainment Weekly,[27] Autostraddle,[28] and Buzzfeed.[29]

Personal life[edit]

On June 12, 2013, Youngs came out, announcing that she was "super gay", and that she was engaged to marry her girlfriend Kristin Russo,[30][31] who she married on August 25, 2013. They currently reside in Los Angeles.[32]



Year Album details
2005 (re-released 2007) Batten the Hatches
  • Released:
  • Label: self-released (re-released by Nettwerk)
  • Format: CD
2009 Transmitter Failure
  • Released: May 26, 2009
  • Label: Nettwerk
  • Format: CD
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"[33] The Gayest Compilation Ever Made Volume II January 14. 2014


  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 2009-05-28. 
  3. ^ "Jenny Owen Youngs makes a shiny new record!". Kickstarter. Retrieved 2012-05-28. 
  4. ^ "Jenny Owen Youngs". Song Facts. Retrieved 2013-05-28. 
  5. ^ "Against Me! touring with Jenny Owen Youngs and Creepoid (who's touring w/ Balance & Composure and Seahaven)". Brooklyn Vegan. Retrieved 2014-06-12. 
  6. ^ "Best Tour Ever: Frank Turner, Larry & His Flask, Jenny Owen Youngs September US Dates". The Ruckus. Retrieved 2012-09-04. 
  7. ^ "Opening Bands". Motion City Soundtrack. Retrieved 2011-08-22. 
  8. ^ "Punks in Vegas". Punks in Vegas. Retrieved 2017-06-17. 
  9. ^ "It Doesn't Have to Make Sense - Ingrid Michaelson". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017-08-11. 
  10. ^ "Pitbull Ft. Robin Thicke, Joe Perry, Travis Barker - Bad Man". Discogs. Retrieved 2017-08-10. 
  11. ^ "Pitbull Recruits Robin Thicke, Travis Barker for 'Bad Man' at Grammys". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2017-08-10. 
  12. ^ Ensminger, Kristina (April 10, 2007). "Jenny Owen Youngs | SPIN". Spin Media. Retrieved 2015-06-28. 
  13. ^ McLaughlin, Moira E. (2010-08-19). "Jenny Owens Youngs finds inspiration in the dark". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2015-06-28. 
  14. ^ "Nothing to Write Home About with Matt Pryor". 2014-04-04. Retrieved 2014-08-04. 
  15. ^ "Jenny Owen Youngs - Batten The Hatches". Discogs. Retrieved 2015-06-28. 
  16. ^ "Album Review: Transmitter Failure". Count Me Out. Retrieved 2009-05-26. 
  17. ^ "About The Tour". Revival Tour. Retrieved 2013-06-24. 
  18. ^ "Jenny Owen Youngs makes a shiny new record!". Kickstarter. Retrieved 2012-05-28. 
  19. ^ "EXHIBIT | Jenny Owen Youngs". 2012-12-04. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  20. ^ "Coming To A Town Near You: The 2013 Revival Tour". American Songwriter. 2013-01-11. Retrieved 2013-06-24. 
  21. ^ "kristinnoeline: i'm moving". Tumblr. Retrieved 2015-11-17. 
  22. ^ "Pitbull Ft. Robin Thicke, Joe Perry, Travis Barker - Bad Man". Discogs. Retrieved 2017-08-10. 
  23. ^ "Pitbull Recruits Robin Thicke, Travis Barker for 'Bad Man' at Grammys". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2017-08-10. 
  24. ^ "Panic! at the Disco - High Hopes Stream". Spin. Retrieved 2018-05-23. 
  25. ^ "Rejoice, For Kristin Russo and Jenny Owen Youngs Have A Podcast About Buffy the Vampire Slayer". Autostraddle. Retrieved 2016-09-07. 
  26. ^ "Buffering the Vampire Slayer Fawns Over Cordelia, Drusilla, and the whole Scooby gang". The A.V. Club. 2017-03-07. Retrieved 2018-02-09. 
  27. ^ "EW Must List". Entertainment Weekly. 2016-09-29. Retrieved 2018-02-09. 
  28. ^ "Rejoice, For Kristin Russo and Jenny Owen Youngs Have A Podcast About Buffy the Vampire Slayer". Autostraddle. Retrieved 2016-09-07. 
  29. ^ "27 Podcasts You Need To Start Listening To In 2018". BuzzFeed. 2018-02-08. Retrieved 2018-02-09. 
  30. ^ "Dear friend, I'm writing to tell you, among other". 2013-06-12. Retrieved 2013-06-24. 
  31. ^ Sieczkowski, Cavan (17 June 2013). "Jenny Owen Youngs Gay: Folk Singer Comes Out, Reveals She Is Engaged". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  32. ^ "My wife (and New York native) Kristin Russo, who is "too cold" in our Los Angeles home to stop wearing this blanket as a dress". 2017-01-08. Retrieved 2017-01-12. 
  33. ^ "The Gayest Compilation Ever Made Volume II, by Everyone Is Gay". Everyone Is Gay. Retrieved 2017-02-11. 

External links[edit]

Official Sites[edit]

Interviews and media[edit]