This Spark Will Fly
Singer-songwriter Jenny Egan bows with her debut demo,
seeking “to be a voice of her generation”
It exists only as a spark now, an ember, small but burning hot, rather inconspicuous, but poised to grow. Jenny Egan, only 18, is prepared for her moment, for that chance to kindle her ember into a bright, passionate flame.
She certainly has the desire. The upstart singer-songwriter has been “singing since she was in the crib,” and she wrote her first song at age 5. For “Career Day” in elementary school she wanted to be “a musician, a rock star.” In the 9th grade, she’d write lyrics on her hands in class then steal away to the bathroom with a pocket recorder to put her “little songs” on tape. “It’s been my passion since I was a little girl,” she says. “I have this amazing muse, so I’m constantly feeding it and writing songs.”
Since her first composition, appropriately called “Happiness,” Jenny has been fostering her abilities, with the help of a nurturing family and an active imagination.
Now, she is ready for her big moment. Her initial batch of four songs is raw, acoustic, but full of potential. Her heart is poised to open up, to allow her imagination, talent and artistry to come gushing out. What does she sound like? Initially, it’s easier to talk about her music by pointing out her influences.
“I’ve been listening to the Beatles since I was a baby and I’ve known their names since I was two!” she says. “My dad is a Beatles encyclopedia, so they were on all the time. I used to wear their t-shirt over my catholic school jumper. I grew up with them like they were a member of the family, so when I listen to them it feels like home.”
The other major influence in Jenny’s musical life is Elvis Costello, another unlikely source for someone in her generation. “‘My Aim Is True’ is one of my favorite albums,” she says. “His music really touches me. I love his persona, and the way he always sounds so vulnerable. My music tries to capture that same vulnerability.”
Indeed it does. The songs on Egan’s debut are heartfelt and sensitive to the touch. They reveal a songwriter with a depth and understanding beyond her years. Here are Jenny’s thoughts on her inaugural batch of songs:
“Endlessly” is one of the favorite songs I’ve written. It has a lot of rich imagery and it comes from a very personal experience—not literally—but it’s what I felt inside. It’s about two people who are in love, and it’s a romanticized view on love. It sounds funny, but I love love and I love relationships. This song paints a portrait of my magic dreams.
“Impressed” is another song I am really proud of. It’s different; the first chord is a G major 7th, which makes it feel different right away. I meant for the lyric to be very innocent, but my dad, who’s a brilliant musician, thinks it’s raunchy. I guess you can decide for yourself.
“She Gets What She Wants” is the second real song I ever wrote. I wrote it in anger. I was in love with this guy; he was in love with this girl that I really didn’t like, so it pissed me off. My emotions got the best of me and I went upstairs, cried, and wrote the song.
“No One Has the Right” is my dad’s favorite song. It’s very personal to me. It’s about being so insecure that it cripples you on the inside. It can be about bullying, self-mutilation, and inner conflict. The song, with its “la la la di dah” chorus, is meant to make you sing along, and hopefully feel better because of it.
With her talents, insights, and determination, Jenny Egan’s ready to realize her dreams and perform in front of larger audiences. Her songs are skilled, loaded with meaning and emotional maturity. “It sounds funny, but I want to be a voice of my generation,” she says. “I want to do everything I can to speak for others, for the people that can’t express what they’re trying to say on their own.”
You can hear what Jenny Egan’s really saying on her debut EP.
photos courtesy of Denise Bass
location: Villa One Twenty, Middletown RI
Jenny Egan’s photo shoot