Jenny Owen Youngs

Last updated

Jenny Owen Youngs
Jenny Owen Youngs 1.jpg
Youngs performing in Portland, Oregon's Mississippi Studios
Background information
Born (1981-11-22) November 22, 1981 (age 38)
Origin Newton, New Jersey, US
Genres Indie pop, alternative, indie folk
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, bass, flute, tuba
Years active2005–present
Labels Nettwerk
Website Official website OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg

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] and has toured worldwide. Youngs is also a songwriting collaborator whose cuts include the 2018 Panic! at the Disco single "High Hopes, [4] " as well as songs with Brett Dennen, Ingrid Michaelson, Shungudzo, Pitbull, and others.


Youngs' songs have been used in TV shows such as Weeds, [5] Grey's Anatomy , Nurse Jackie , Suburgatory , and Switched at Birth. In 2017, her 2012 song "Wake Up" was featured over the end credits of Bojack Horseman's season 4 finale. On March 28, 2018, it was announced that Youngs would work as the composer for Muscle Memory, [6] a short film directed by Carly Usdin being made as a part of the American Film Institute's Directing Workshop for Women. [7]

Early life and education

Raised in Newton, New Jersey, Youngs grew up playing the flute, the french horn and the sousaphone in elementary school and the tuba in junior high school. [8] [9] 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. [10] [11]

Music career

As a solo artist

Batten the Hatches

Youngs' first album Batten the Hatches was recorded with borrowed equipment at SUNY-Purchase and self-released in 2005. [12] [11] While at Austin's South by Southwest, Youngs met Gary Calamar, the music supervisor of Showtime's Weeds , which led to her song "Fuck Was I" appearing in Weeds' second-season premiere. [8] The notoriety resulted in a contract with Canadian indie label Nettwerk Records. [8] Nettwerk Records re-released her album Batten the Hatches on April 10, 2007, with new artwork and an additional song ("Drinking Song"). [13] [14] Newsweek called the album a top pick, complimenting Youngs' "simple, stripped-down guitar" and her "edgy lyrics and sweetly sung melodies". [15] The Sydney Morning Herald described the album as an "accomplished debut". [16]

"Fuck Was I" was also released on Weeds: Music from the Original Series, Vol. 2 .

Transmitter Failure

Youngs released her second album, Transmitter Failure, on May 26, 2009. [17] She supported Regina Spektor in her 2009 tour promoting the album Far . [8]

Youngs 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. [18]

An Unwavering Band of Light

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. [19] 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

On April 5, 2018, Youngs released the song "Won't Let Go of Me" which was featured in the Grey's Anatomy episode "Hold Back The River" (Season 14, Episode 18). The song was written with Aaron Espe and Kyle Neal. Neal produced the song while Espe was credited as a co-producer.

On March 28, 2018, it was announced that Youngs would work as the composer for Muscle Memory, [20] a short film directed by Carly Usdin being made as a part of the American Film Institute's Directing Workshop for Women. [21]

Youngs has toured worldwide headlining and also supporting artists such as Regina Spektor, [22] Against Me!, [23] Frank Turner, [24] and Streetlight Manifesto. [25]

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. [26]

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. [27]

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.

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 July 27, 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.

Co-writing and recent years

In 2015, Youngs moved to Los Angeles [28] where she is working on her next album and co-writing with and for other artists. Youngs' notable cuts include Panic! at the Disco's 2018 single "High Hopes", [29] 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", [30] which was debuted at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards. [31] 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. Youngs often collaborates with her friends Chris Farren and A.W.

Buffering the Vampire Slayer

In September 2016, Youngs launched the podcast Buffering the Vampire Slayer with 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. [32] The podcast is part of the Stitcher Premium network and has been featured in A.V. Club, [33] Entertainment Weekly, [34] Autostraddle, [32] and Buzzfeed. [35]

Veronica Mars Investigations

In August 2019, Youngs launched the podcast Veronica Mars Investigations with Helen Zaltzman. The podcast discusses the popular television series Veronica Mars one episode at a time.

Personal life

On June 12, 2013, Youngs came out, announcing "I am super gay", and that she was engaged to marry her girlfriend Kristin Russo, [36] [37] whom she married on August 25, 2013. On May 25, 2018, the couple announced they are no longer together but remain friends and will keep working in their mutual projects. Both of them said, "We've come to realize that we will be better—both to ourselves and to each other—within the context of a friendship, rather than a marriage." [38]

On May 3, 2020, Youngs announced her engagement to Jess Abbott of Tancred on Twitter. [39]



Jenny Owen Youngs albums
YearAlbum 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
2012An Unwavering Band of Light
  • Released: February 7, 2012
  • Label: self-released
  • Format: CD, LP




SongAlbumRelease Date
"Not On Your Own" [40] The Gayest Compilation Ever Made Volume IIJanuary 14. 2014

Co-writing credits

2015 A.W. New Love (SideOneDummy Records)"Good Way"
"Golden Coast"
2016Zach Jones & The Tricky BitsRendezvous with a Comet"Mushroom Suit"
Ingrid Michaelson It Doesn't Have to Make Sense (Cabin 24 Records / Mom + Pop Music)"Miss America"
2017Bo 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"
2018 Brett Dennen Here's Looking at You Kid EP (Downtown Records)"People I Love"
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"
Ashley Campbell The Lonely One"Wish I Wanted To"
Shungudzo Fifty Shades Freed Soundtrack (Universal / Republic)"Come On Back"

Related Research Articles

Alanis Morissette Canadian-American singer-songwriter

Alanis Nadine Morissette is a Canadian-American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress. Known for her emotive mezzo-soprano voice, Morissette began her career in Canada in the early 1990s with two mildly successful dance-pop albums. Afterward, as part of a recording deal, she moved to Holmby Hills, Los Angeles. In 1995, she released Jagged Little Pill, a more rock-oriented album which sold more than 33 million copies globally and is her most critically acclaimed work to date. Her follow-up album, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, was released in 1998.

Sarah McLachlan Canadian musician, singer, and songwriter

Sarah Ann McLachlan is a Canadian singer-songwriter known for her emotional ballads and mezzo-soprano vocal range. As of 2015 she had sold over 40 million albums worldwide. McLachlan's best-selling album to date is Surfacing, for which she won two Grammy Awards and four Juno Awards. In addition to her personal artistic efforts, she founded the Lilith Fair tour, which showcased female musicians on an unprecedented scale. The Lilith Fair concert tours took place from 1997 to 1999, and resumed in the summer of 2010.

Rilo Kiley

Rilo Kiley was an American indie rock band based in Los Angeles, California. Formed in 1998, the band consisted of Jenny Lewis, Blake Sennett, Pierre de Reeder, and Dave Rock.

Jenny Lewis American singer-songwriter

Jennifer Diane Lewis is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and actress. She was the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the indie rock band Rilo Kiley.

Pitbull (rapper) American rapper

Armando Christian Pérez, known professionally by his stage name Pitbull, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, brand ambassador, and philanthropist. Pérez began his career in the early 2000s, recording reggaeton, Latin hip hop, and crunk music under a multitude of labels. In 2004, he released his debut album M.I.A.M.I. under TVT Records and the executive production of Lil Jon. Pitbull later released his second album El Mariel, in 2006 and his third, The Boatlift, in 2007. His fourth album, Rebelution (2009), included his breakthrough hit single "I Know You Want Me ", which peaked at number two on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number four on the UK Singles Chart.

Tara MacLean

Tara Margaret Charity MacLean is a Canadian singer and songwriter. Her hit songs as a solo artist include "Evidence", "If I Fall", and a cover of the Christmas song "Light of the Stable". She was a member of Atlantic Canadian regional group, Shaye with Kim Stockwood and Damhnait Doyle from 2002 to 2007.

MC Lars American rapper

Andrew Robert Nielsen, known professionally as MC Lars, is an American rapper, producer, teacher, cartoonist and podcaster. He is one of the self-proclaimed originators of "lit-hop" and was one of the first rappers to sample and reference post-punk, pop punk, and emo bands.

Erin McKeown

Erin McKeown is an American multi-instrumentalist and folk-rock singer-songwriter.

Regina Spektor Russian-born American singer-songwriter and pianist

Regina Ilyinichna Spektor is a Russian-born American singer, songwriter, and pianist.

Great Lake Swimmers Canadian folk rock band

Great Lake Swimmers is a Canadian folk rock band from Wainfleet, Ontario, and currently based in Toronto.

Brett Dennen American musician

Brett Michael Dennen is an American folk/pop singer and songwriter from Central California. His sixth studio album, Por Favor, was released in May 2016.

Jenny Wilson (singer) Swedish singer-songwriter

Jenny Wilson is a Swedish singer-songwriter. Her music has a distinct electro-influenced style.

The Submarines

The Submarines are an American indie rock band from Los Angeles.

<i>Batten the Hatches</i> 2005 studio album by Jenny Owen Youngs

Batten the Hatches is the debut album by American singer-songwriter Jenny Owen Youngs. Originally self-released in 2005 by Youngs, it was reissued with the bonus track "Drinking Song" two years later by the Nettwerk label.

The Be Good Tanyas

The Be Good Tanyas are a Canadian folk music group formed in 1999 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Their influences include folk, country, and bluegrass. The style of music they perform can be referred to as alt-country or Americana.

John-Allison Weiss is a Los Angeles-based indie pop singer, songwriter, and performer known sometimes by their collective band's stage name A.W. To date, they have released three full-length albums and several EPs. Their most recent LP, New Love, was released on October 2, 2015 through SideOneDummy Records.

Becky G American singer, songwriter and actress

Rebbeca Marie Gomez, also known as Becky G, is an American singer, songwriter and actress. Gomez first gained recognition in 2011 when she began posting videos of herself covering popular songs online. One of her videos caught the attention of producer Dr. Luke, who subsequently offered her a joint record deal with Kemosabe Records and RCA Records. While working on her debut effort, Gomez collaborated with artists, Cody Simpson and Cher Lloyd. Her official debut single, "Becky from the Block" (2013), received a positive reception upon its release. She released her debut extended play, Play It Again (2013), later that same year. Her second single, "Can't Get Enough" (2014), featured guest vocals from Pitbull and went on to top the Latin Rhythm Airplay chart in the United States.

<i>B-Sides</i> (Avril Lavigne album) 2001 compilation album by Avril Lavigne

B-Sides, also known as Let Go: B-Sides, is a promotional album by Canadian singer-songwriter Avril Lavigne. It was published before debut album Let Go by Arista Records in 2002. The compilation contains demo and original tracks not included in the final Let Go release. The songs were written and produced in 2001 under the management of Nettwerk in Los Angeles by Lavigne, the production team The Matrix and songwriter Cliff Magness after Arista sent her to McBride CEO of Nettwerk in the attempt to fit her image and attitude with her voice. Though Lavigne would release Let Go through Arista, she continued with Nettwerk for her management.

Kristin Russo is an American speaker, personality, and LGBTQ activist. She is CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Everyone Is Gay and My Kid Is Gay, organizations that provide advice, guidance, and education to LGBTQIA youth and their families, and is the co-author of This Is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids.

<i>Buffering the Vampire Slayer</i> fan-created podcast about Buffy the Vampire Slayer, hosted by Jenny Owen Youngs and Kristin Russo

Buffering the Vampire Slayer is a spoiler-free, fan-created podcast about Buffy the Vampire Slayer, hosted by Jenny Owen Youngs and Kristin Russo. Each episode of the podcast analyzes one episode of the TV show, concluding with an original song created by Youngs and Russo, recapping the episode.


  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 May 28, 2009.
  3. "Jenny Owen Youngs makes a shiny new record!". Kickstarter. Retrieved May 28, 2012.
  4. "Panic! at the Disco – High Hopes Stream". Spin. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  5. Mintzer, Cori (August 18, 2006). "'Weeds' still addictive in its second season". Oregon Daily Emerald (University of Oregon).
  6. "Muscle Memory: a short film". Seed&Spark. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  7. "Muscle Memory: a short film". Seed&Spark. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  8. 1 2 3 4 Derogatis, Katie (February 13, 2007). "Girl with guitar soundtracks 'Weeds'". Washington Square News (New York University).
  9. Ensminger, Kristina (April 10, 2007). "Jenny Owen Youngs". Spin. Retrieved June 28, 2015.
  10. McLaughlin, Moira E. (August 19, 2010). "Jenny Owens Youngs finds inspiration in the dark". The Washington Post. ISSN   0190-8286 . Retrieved June 28, 2015.
  11. 1 2 "The Sound of Youngs' America: One singer-songwriter you have to hear". Fairfield County Weekly (Bridgeport, Connecticut). November 10, 2005.
  12. "Nothing to Write Home About with Matt Pryor". April 4, 2014. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
  13. "Jenny Owen Youngs – Batten The Hatches". Discogs. Retrieved June 28, 2015.
  14. Shuster, Fred (April 10, 2007). "Hear Today: Stax in Spotlight for 50th Anniversary". Daily News of Los Angeles. p. U5.
  15. "The Checklist". Newsweek. April 16, 2007. p. 103.
  16. Wright, Rachel (May 4, 2007). "CD reviews". The Sydney Morning Herald . p. 18.
  17. "Album Review: Transmitter Failure". Count Me Out. Retrieved May 26, 2009.
  18. "About The Tour". Revival Tour. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
  19. "Jenny Owen Youngs makes a shiny new record!". Kickstarter. Retrieved May 28, 2012.
  20. "Muscle Memory: a short film". Seed&Spark. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  21. "Muscle Memory: a short film". Seed&Spark. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  22. "Jenny Owen Youngs". Song Facts. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  23. "Against Me! touring with Jenny Owen Youngs and Creepoid (who's touring w/ Balance & Composure and Seahaven)". Brooklyn Vegan. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
  24. "Best Tour Ever: Frank Turner, Larry & His Flask, Jenny Owen Youngs September US Dates". The Ruckus. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
  25. "Punks in Vegas". Punks in Vegas. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  26. "Coming To A Town Near You: The 2013 Revival Tour". American Songwriter. January 11, 2013. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
  27. "EXHIBIT | Jenny Owen Youngs". December 4, 2012. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
  28. "kristinnoeline: i'm moving". Tumblr. Retrieved November 17, 2015.
  29. "Panic! at the Disco – High Hopes Stream". Spin. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  30. "Pitbull Ft. Robin Thicke, Joe Perry, Travis Barker – Bad Man". Discogs. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  31. "Pitbull Recruits Robin Thicke, Travis Barker for 'Bad Man' at Grammys". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  32. 1 2 "Rejoice, For Kristin Russo and Jenny Owen Youngs Have A Podcast About Buffy the Vampire Slayer". Autostraddle. Retrieved September 7, 2016.
  33. "Buffering the Vampire Slayer Fawns Over Cordelia, Drusilla, and the whole Scooby gang". The A.V. Club. March 7, 2017. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  34. "EW Must List". Entertainment Weekly. September 29, 2016. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  35. "27 Podcasts You Need To Start Listening To In 2018". BuzzFeed. February 8, 2018. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  36. "Dear friend, I'm writing to tell you, among other". June 12, 2013. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
  37. Sieczkowski, Cavan (June 17, 2013). "Jenny Owen Youngs Gay: Folk Singer Comes Out, Reveals She Is Engaged". The Huffington Post. Retrieved June 17, 2013.
  38. "Kristin Russo". Instagram. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  39. "Jenny Owen Youngs". Twitter. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
  40. "The Gayest Compilation Ever Made Volume II, by Everyone Is Gay". Everyone Is Gay. Retrieved February 11, 2017.