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Together with American Songwriter, we had the pleasure of interviewing Jocelyn Mackenzie over Zoom video!
Jocelyn Mackenzie is a Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter, artist, and psychic medium. Her conviction to craft creates music, art, and messaging that is sensual, personal, and powerful. Holding intimate balance between vulnerability and strength, the self-taught songstress delicately constructs bold melodies that weave universal stories straight to the heart.
Her debut solo album PUSH is a chamber pop homage to healing through radical self-love, to be released on Righteous Babe Records. Written entirely for string quartet in collaboration with five talented composers, each song on PUSH bravely shines light on dark spots of her past. The fearlessness in her songwriting combined with the orchestral arrangements of each song alchemizes her pain into a poultice, making the album itself a testimony to hope, heartbreak, and what it means to be human.
Likened to the sounds of tUnE-yArDs, Kate Bush, and Regina Spektor, her sonic world traverses diverse terrain, making no stranger of the pop earworm, the humble singalong, and the orchestral tearjerker. With a versatile library of influences including Sia, They Might Be Giants, and ambient soundscapes, her songs cure melody, meaning, and instrumentation into fine blends of the sacred and profane.
In 2007, Mackenzie co-founded indie-folk trio Pearl and the Beard, with whom she enjoyed a rich national and international touring history over the span of their eight year career. Their infectious blend of soaring instrumentation, soulful harmonies, and genuine lyricism anchored their songs into their listeners’ bones with depth and longevity. Musicians’ musicians, Pearl’s powerful stage presence shepherded them to perform alongside legacy artists such as Ani DiFranco, Neko Case, Bastille, Iron & Wine, Ingrid Michaelson, Lucius, Dar Williams, Lady Lamb, David Wax Museum, and Sharon Van Etten.
In the years since Pearl released their farewell album, Mackenzie continued to write and produce music independently, launching her solo career with 2016’s juicy pop offering the Unlovely EP. The release’s five songs, including “Centenarian,” co-written by Ani DiFranco, openly touched on intimate personal trials Mackenzie had endured. Her musical ability to reveal intimate emotional truths with an unwaveringly buoyant sound was the fertile ground in which PUSH was planted.
PUSH is due out on January 29, 2021 via Ani DiFranco’s Righteous Babe Records.
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