“These aren’t necessarily the songs I wanted to write, but they were the ones I had to write,” Jenny O. says of the material that became Peace & Information, her sophomore record and the second she’s collaborated on with producer Jonathan Wilson (Father John Misty, Conor Oberst, Dawes).
“I had a difficult year or two, so I wrote my way out of it.” This difficult chapter included challenging romantic relationships, a move from L.A. to Nashville, depression, trauma, a resulting case of PTSD, and a lot of inward work, not necessarily in that order. These experiences resulted in a group of songs that take the listener on a journey that culminates in insights about increased intuition, the pursuit of self-actualization, and taking back one’s personal power.
Jenny began making simple recordings on her father’s reel-to-reel tape machine as a teenager and kick started her career with the self-produced and heartily licensed Home EP. In 2015, Jenny O. was awarded The Holly Prize by the Songwriters Hall of Fame, as “an exceptionally talented and inspired young musician whose work exhibits the qualities of Holly’s music: true, great, and original.”
After O.’s first full length Automechanic was released in Feburary of 2013 she found herself on the road for two years in support of acts like Father John Misty, Leon Russell, and Rodriguez. She confesses, “I’m into music but I’m not an extrovert. I’m really sensitive and each tour presents new dynamics to surf through. When you’re in a bad place spiritually but obligated to perform, the shows feel like fraud. I wanted it to stop until I could get my shit together.” The end of the album cycle prompted a move to Nashville for a while. “I felt like riding a bicycle in a little mellow town —being transient, elsewhere,” she explained.
Jenny moved into an 18th-century log cabin that had belonged to Jimmy Buffet in the
‘70s. She spent her time there reading, writing and sleeping in her vaulted bedroom, trying to heal while battling depression.
“It was the most beautiful, the cheapest, and the most necessary place I’ve ever lived,” she says. It was here that she wrote the songs that became Peace & Information. After spending eight months there, the cabin was bulldozed to make way for condominiums. She returned to Los Angeles to record the album with Wilson.
“We recorded to tape, like last time. The whole record was tracked and mixed in 17 days,” Jenny says. “We both draw from all kinds of music so the album is pretty varied. I declare it rock & roll, but this time we used more synthesizers and grunge guitar, and there’s a depression bossa nova on there too.”