Automechanic is the appropriately titled debut full-length by Los Angeles artist Jenny O. A great distance from her Long Island, New York beginnings on the now critically praised EP "Home," Jenny O. has refined her songwriting to a well-oiled machine. With touches of noteworthy Los Angeles mile-markers like Harry Nilsson,
Ricky Lee Jones, Randy Newman, and Carol King, her playful attitude towards life shines here in sweepingly poignant songwriting and lyrical delivery. Honest diatribes and insightful glances of life, love and the adventure of Los Angeles radiate in her songs. Automechanic is metaphor for taking the wheel, self sufficiency and the courage of artistic honesty.
Jenny O. weaves through spirited guitar jams a la Neil Young like the album's title track “Automechanic” or the kindred J.J. Cale-styled number "Good Love." She delivers songs like "Sun Moon and Stars" with bravura and clarity; "And when I get to crying instead… over something you said…I'll stand by the blues… I'm gonna use em… I'll make a note not to abuse em."
Jenny O. taps fearlessly into a bevy of styles here. The 70's R&B-inspired "Lazy Jane" is a tale of relationship dissolution leaving one immobile with heartbreak and regret. "Get Lost" rolls with a modern folk and country throwback: arpeggiated chords under a slow-burned melody that offers the safety in letting go. "Come Get Me" may be Jenny O.'s most adventurous tune of all, delving into far-out guitar tones, unabashed drum fills, and joyous background harmonies.
Produced by Jonathan Wilson (Father John Misty, Dawes, Will Oldham), and recorded to 2" analog tape, Automechanic hosts a cast of musicians aside from Jenny O.'s brilliant guitar and piano duties. The album features Jonathan Wilson, James Gadson (Bill Withers), Jake Blanton (The Killers) and Benji Lysaght (Father John Misty). This eclectic mixture of musicians brings a well-honed yet rag-tag ramble feel to her masterful and charged assembly of songs.
Jenny O.'s wistful spirit has kept her constantly writing, recording and touring, and with the release of Automechanic on Holy Trinity / Thirty Tigers on February 5, 2013 there are no plans to slow down, only speed up.
Sam James Velde
Los Angeles, CA
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