It's easy to try and place Jen Gloeckner in the same vein as Norah Jones and Katie Melua, and indeed that description does give an indication of what Jen Gloeckner sounds like, but it's more truthful to say that she simply deals in well written, highly emotional and passionate songs. Her debut album "Miles Away" is the sort of album you'd expect from a veteran such as Tracy Chapman and while it sounds polished there's certainly a soulful edge where other female singer songwriters can often fail. The breakthrough of Jen Gloeckner in the UK may take time, but rest assured it will happen. Designer Magazine caught up with Jen to discuss her breakthrough in the States.
Q: Music seems to be turning around to real singers
/ real songwriters with the likes of Norah Jones in the States and Katie
Melua and Jamie Cullum in the the UK. Do you feel that this is your time
rather than 3 or 4 years ago where it was pure pop?
A: I really don't think a song with soul has a certain time period. My goal is to write timeless music. But I do agree that these times do seem friendlier to "real" female artists.
Q: You grew up in Iowa, a town where musically we can
think of Slipknot. What was it like growing up as a music fan there and
was their much of a scene - musically or creatively?
A: Slipknot is actually from Des Moines, which is about a 3 hour drive from Dubuque. The music scene in Dubuque has really come along way. There are many great musicians doing their own thing now. In the past it was mainly bands playing cover tunes.
Q: Did you ever dream of moving to more musically motivated
city's such as New York?
A: No I have not, actually I have enough inspiration and motivation right where I'm at. I some times dream about going somewhere else for more inspiration, but usually a more tranquil place than a big city comes to mind.
Q: What were you listening to growing up? Was it always
quite rootsy singer songwriters?
A: As a kid, I listened mostly to commercial radio. Commercial radio has changed a lot since then.
Q: How old were you when you started writing. Was it
always just you or were you in bands before this?
A: I started writing around 10 years ago. I really only got serious about it the last few years. I have always written on my own. I have never really been part of a band.
Q: What first inspired you to start writing - Iowa,
a broken heart, relationships etc.
A: I guess I was first inspired just by my love for music. The music is inspired by many things, real life events, dreams etc.
Q: You decided to record & release the record independently.
Was it a case of wanting to keep it true to it's roots rather than a record
company taking you in "their" direction?
A: I totally believe in artistic freedom. That is all an artist has. I also think it is cool to hook up with a good producer who can put a shine on the material, but that should only to be to make clearer the artists vision, and not to change the artist.
Q: You must have written hundreds of songs over the
years. What did you want to achieve with "Miles Away" - were they any set
ideas? Are there any recurring themes on running through the record?
A: I do not think there were really any set ideas, or recurring themes. What I wanted to achieve was just some good songs, that each had their own spirit.
Q: What's your favourite song on the album and why?
A: I don't really have a favourite but I do enjoy Only 1 and Mountains. Only 1 best defined where I was musically when I was recording Miles Away, and was the last song recorded for the disk.
Q: What's the reacting been like over in the States
where the album is more readily available?
A: The reaction in the States has been great. I do feel that Miles Away has a bit more of a European feel to it, and I have been getting a great response from the UK and Europe as well.
Q: You've been played regularly on the "Woman In Music"
radio show. Do you feel your music speaks directly to women or can men
relate to the lyrics just as easily?
A: I think there is something on Miles Away for everyone.
Q: What are your plans for the rest of the year &
do they include the UK and Europe?
A: My immediate plans are to put together a tour in the states. A UK and European tour are definitely in the plans for the near future.
"Miles Away" is out now
For more info and to buy the album
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