Indie solo artist Jocelyn Mackenzie has been writing music before she even really knew the alphabet. Despite her long musical history, her new album PUSH is her first very own full-length album to see the light of day.
“They say that you have your whole lifetime to create your first album and I found that to be definitely true,” Mackenzie tells BTRtoday. “I’ve just been working on it so slowly and steadily—I’ve written a lot since then, which is nice.”
PUSH, which comes out Jan. 29 on Righteous Babe Records, makes obvious the beautifully intricate and emotional musical environment that Mackenzie has been immersed in her entire life. Though the songs were written years ago—some even more than a decade old—the album was created revolving around a string quartet to make each song feel brand new.Jocelyn Mackenzie, “Mango Leather”
Mackenzie passed along about 20 demos to five composers, who then chose 12 tracks to morph the melodies around.
“The five [composers] split up the songs and they made them what they are, so they all feel very fresh to me and very cohesive in that way—saying the same word with a different melody gives it such a different meaning,” she says. “I feel like music is a language that we all speak as humanity and that whatever kind of music that you like or listen to for certain moods or whatever, the physical vibrations of sound touch our inner ear and change our vibration in a very physical real way.”
So even the original write up of the tracks on PUSH are old, the arrangements are new, creating a whole new “vibration” for listeners. The album lays down a beautiful transition, like a flower blooming, from start to finish. Each track keeps an upbeat indie-pop theme but emphasizes genres that tend to be more melancholy like Americana, folk, and orchestral music. The entire record feels like an emotional journey that awakens something powerful inside you, turning it into a therapeutic listen.Jocelyn Mackenzie, “Better”
“I didn’t set out to write an album about healing, it just happens that those were the songs that my string arrangers picked,” she says. “In the same way that a hot shower can calm our nerves, or a cup of tea can bring us back to center, music for me is a very real healing property—it’s not just ephemeral, it’s a very physical thing for me.”