Take My Breath Away: Jenny Wilson Shines During Intimate New York City Show
Sure, the first few words of that title reference the song that Jenny Wilson collaborated on with The Knife nearly seven years ago, but watching the singer perform last night at Pianos, to a warmly inviting and intimate audience, I've found myself near a loss of words to describe the magic that exudes from the musician in a live setting. Thus, I'll give it a go regardless, because talent and ingenuity as such needs to be rewarded in a most beastly fashion.
Wilson has been a staple of the Swedish pop/art rock scene for a better part of the decade, and like all good artists from non-Stateside territories are, had gone largely unnoticed here. Her debut album, Love and Youth, was released in her homeland in 2005, with the follow-up, Hardships!, seeing a release early last year. Now, the latter is finally getting it's proper US debut on August 24, and in anticipation of the effort, Wilson jumped to NYC to do a bit of promo and performing.
Two nights ago, she enchanted the crowd at Union Hall, but last night's showing at the lower east side venue was simply spectacular. Wilson sat and sang at the piano for all but one song (borrowing a guitar for the other), and enlisting the back-up vocals of Sabina Ddumba, a 16 year old singer from the Tensta Gospel Choir. Let me say that again...16 YEARS OLD, with a strikingly-clear and emotive voice that resonates well beyond her years. Together, the ladies coursed through a 40-minute set of quirky and unique songs, including album standouts Like a Fading Rainbow and Only Here For the Fight, the latter of which I captured on video (below).
If you missed either of Jenny's performances this week, fear not, for you have one more chance to get in on the wonder of Ms. Wilson. She'll be dropping by the debut Belly of the Beast show on East Village Radio tonight to have a chat, do an acoustic set, and spin some tracks from the new album. Tune in at 8pm!
Full set of images from last night's show can be viewed here.