Jenn Nucum - "Revival" (Album)

Jenn Nucum is an emerging Filipina-Canadian singer-songwriter based in Toronto. Navigating life as a diasporic queer woman of colour, Jenn’s music deconstructs the complex fabric of identity with dreamy and ambient Alt Rock melodies, honest lyrics, and emotive vocals.

At age 15, Jenn started writing original songs – often locked in her bedroom for countless hours, exploring and trying to make sense of her emotions like any other teenager. She grew up in a typical Filipino household influenced by religion. By default, being Filipino somehow meant also being Catholic and being part of a religious youth group subculture. As an impressionable teen, she found her muse in the form of Christian Rock, while belting out choruses of “praise and worship” songs, hands raised high at several youth church conference auditoriums. Jenn eventually left the faith community, but captured and retained the cathartic elements of its contemporary hymns. Today, her songs explore queerness and social injustices faced by visible minorities, performed against an ambient backdrop with remnants of Christian Rock.

Jenn’s music takes listeners on a reflective and evaluative journey of reconciling identity with reality. She does so by revealing a bit about her personal life as a queer Filipina woman; addressing the uncomfortable trials of assimilating in order to feel validated, alienation amongst her peers, and the anxiety of editing or censoring herself to gain acceptance. Her music aims to empower anyone who has ever felt dismissed or devalued, and lets them know they are seen – starting in Canada, where diversity is touted but conformity is expected.

Coming off the success of her first two singles 'Better Optimist' and 'Snakebite' released this year, Jenn is ready to reveal her debut album Revival.

This album is a musical story that is centered on the theme of identity and finding a way to self-acceptance. It is emotional – heartbreaking at times, as well as empowering. Jenn Nucum’s debut album delivers a diverse listening experience as each track draws inspiration from the sonic qualities found in Indie Alternative Rock, Post-rock, Folk, Soul, and Gospel music. Her music is filled with powerful, beautiful melodies, delivered with a voice that demonstrates such longing. While each song demonstrates something unique about Jenn's range as a singer/songwriter, these 9 tracks come together as a fleshed-out story that builds up to the title track at the very end. Revival alludes to improvement, betterment, or renewal. For the album, this word encapsulates a personal journey of trying to better oneself, based on what is prescribed by society and/or religion (particularly Christianity). It packages up her story of once being a person of faith until she couldn’t reconcile it with her queer identity.
Jenn Nucum - "Revival" (Album) Jenn Nucum - "Revival" (Album) Reviewed by Albert Miller on 12.5.20 Rating: 5

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