As you dissolve into the heart-rending acoustic atmosphere that suffuses throughout Home, it becomes startlingly apparent from the outset that Jenny O is brimming with tremendous potential. Every song skilfully lays the rudimentary foundations with modest melodies, and steadily builds upon them throughout.
A suave, jazzy bass line launches ‘Well OK Honey’, a lively opener that grows in gradual vocal crescendos, only to be pulled back by succinct guitar plucking. It is, however, slightly misleading; the rest of the EP does not remain as upbeat, but this doesn’t necessarily mean the record takes drastic a turn towards the melancholy. It’s more that the candid disposition upon which the rest of the EP is designed inevitably requires a delicate melody, which consequently evokes much more emotion in a listener. Although four consecutive acoustic songs follow, they remain diverse enough for ‘Home’ to not sink into a repetition.
‘All My Wishes’ is a charming ballad of confessionals and desires – offering soft, almost-whispered vocals that climb above the foundations of a sparse, cyclical guitar-picked melody. ‘Won’t Let You Leave’ is a more joyous acoustic number, swinging melodically and vocally in a jaunty refrain. And with the help of a tantalising piano melody, ‘I Do, I Do’ dances back and forth as the steady incorporation of harmonies and percussion instruments add a stunning intensity and depth. The title track hums the EP to a close, with catchy jingles reviving a subtle feeling of nostalgia.
Whilst Jenny O attempts various musical styles throughout this debut EP, the combination of her candid song-writing abilities with undisputable instrumental talent creates a delightful selection of tracks, each unique in their own right. There may not be any grandiose hooks, and Jenny takes a generally minimalist approach instrumentally, but this works in her favour as it allows her vocals to stand out despite their serene, reserved quality. It’s sweet but not sickly; delicate but not despondent.
Although certain tracks have a tendency to grind to an abrupt halt, the subsequent song begins almost instantaneously, which creates a sense that everything somehow mutates into each other. Some may be dissatisfied by the indistinguishable feeling this creates, but for most, this ease of listening will take you on an enchanting musical journey that makes you feel relaxed and ‘at home’. It is perhaps this soothing experience in particular that makes the extended player so appealing.