Jenny O., “New Truth”
By Alex Westfall · August 11, 2020 Merch for this release:
Vinyl LP, Compact Disc (CD)

On her latest record, New Truth, L.A. singer-songwriter Jenny O. finds solace in arranging things. “There’s a name for this, I’m sure/ Always pacing ‘round in revelation/ Repositioning the plants and paintings,” she meditates over buoyant Mellotron riffs in “I Don’t Wanna Live Alone Anymore.” It’s not just personal possessions she’s reorganizing; New Truth is the sound of searching, of sifting through emotions. It’s a field guide for orienting yourself toward healing.

The arc of the record plots a road to autonomy from aloneness.  On “Color Love,” over a gently lapping bassline, O. champions the act of waiting: “Put on a record, let it move you,” she sings, “Turn it over, listen to it all the way through.” Over the sunlit surf pop of “Even If I Tried,” she radiates a quiet rage: “The world keeps you turning/ And you, you fade away.” And on album-closer track, “Seek Peace,” O. hums softly alongside celestial vocal layers and slow-rolling arpeggios. It’s as if she]s stretching out time, staying suspended in a blissed-out state of pause.

New Truth is the product of careful arrangement, proof of O.’s diligence in adjusting a series of granular sounds—pealing guitar, muted organ—until they fit together just right. Above all, New Truth shows us that there’s power in patience; that with time, something better will emerge. As she counsels in “Hard to Say”: “Everyone can extricate themselves/ From a riddle they can’t solve/ A different kind of life.”

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