I'm not quite sure where to start in talking about Jenny Gillespie and her debut full length album Light Year. Part of me wants to share all of the other great female singer/songwriters that she reminds me of. But in doing so, I wouldn't want to give the impression that she isn't a woman of her own, an artist with something to express of her own creation. So instead, I'll start with her.
Jenny started making music of her own at thirteen. Her influences were some of the great female musicians like Nanci Griffith and Joni Mitchell, but also men like Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. What all of these artists have in common, and which Jenny shares, is the ability to make something profoundly powerful, yet at times deceptively simple or delicate.
Since then, she's worked at her art, releasing an EP while in college in Austin, TX. Soon after, she moved to Chicago, where Light Year started to take substance. While only containing eight tracks, they are all well developed compositions, most close to five minutes long or longer, with none that feel like they were included just to inflate the album into something larger than it needed to be. There's nothing gimmicky or flashy here, just tightly woven songs.
Probably the closest comparison I can make to Jenny would be early Sarah McLachlan, Solace era stuff. Listen to the album's opening track, Vanishing Point, below and you'll see what I mean