Review: Jenny Kern - Slow Burn

Jenny Kern is a Canadian-born singer-songwriter based in New York, having moved to Manhattan to study in 2013. Her debut single 'Slow Burn' was released in January this year and is an open-ended letter of struggle and self-doubt. 

Review by Lewis Abbott

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Opening with just a warm reverberated guitar, joined shortly after by a softly sung vocal, the piece has an early Sharon Van Etten feel to it, with a nod to bands like The National. Jenny says, ”Writing ‘Slow Burn’ was almost cathartic, sharing the brokenness, the sadness." 

This can be heard in all elements of the track, from the swelling atmospheric pads, the vocal harmony in the chorus and the addition of percussion in the second verse. The track builds subtly with textures of additional instrumentation being introduced sparingly, while the lyrics: 'It's not that I don't wanna try” stick out as being the most poignant. The single is carefully crafted and nothing is added for the sake of it, which is refreshing. This can also be heard in Jenny's vocal delivery, which is consistently controlled and only really varies from the main vocal melody in the last chorus, which makes a small but important difference in marking the finale of the track.

Jenny says that the song is about "recognising those painful struggles and finding comfort in yourself while being open to the unexpected. This song changed my life and I hope it can give meaning to others as well.”

'Slow Burn' is taken from Jenny Kern's self-titled EP, which is a solid body of work – the closing track, 'Old Friend’, is another favourite of mine. Jenny will be playing at the Spice Of Life in Soho, London, on 28 April, as well as dates in Portugal and New York in May.