Jen Wood – This Uncontainable Light EP

Jen Wood
This Uncontainable Light EP

Jen Wood’s first album, No More Wading, was all Jen and her guitar. Most of the songs featured her glorious, nearly perfect vocals over soft strumming, and they did tend toward the slower side. They were definitely beautiful songs, but they lacked a fuller sound. Without hearing her second full-length, I realize that this EP is where Jen was definitely headed.

On Wood’s new EP, she adds fellow guitarist and backup singer Katrina Thomson and drums from Jayson Tolzdorf, and that makes all the difference. While Jen was able to go before from soft and deep to louder and more emotional at the drop of a hat, the extra instrumentation takes full advantage of that talent. These are some wonderfully produced, finely crafted emotional pop songs. Jen definitely has the emotional part down, with her vocals almost perfect enough to bring you to tears, not in an opera singer way but in a very real, very personal way.

“Ride” starts things off, with Jen’s subtle acoustic guitars and a soft drumbeat. Wood’s vocals go from soft to loud and more powerful, and the addition of the extra guitar and harmony makes this song both beautiful and powerful without losing its poppy feel. Unfortunately, there’s a nasty skip during the second song on my disc, but “Let’s Fight” has a more aggressive feel, with Wood really driving on the acoustic guitar. “I spent my whole life trying to prove I’m worthy,” she sings, her guitar going from soft to louder and conveying almost as much feeling as her voice, which rises with her emotion, louder and more passionate. “See Through” sounds most reminiscent of Wood’s first album, her voice the perfect accompaniment to her guitar. She sings backing to her own vocals on the last word of each line for an interesting and powerful effect.

I love Jen Wood’s voice. She has the ability to convey so much emotion in her soft and moving vocals, something that few other female singers are able to do, in my opinion. At only 23, Jen’s songs have a maturity and beauty about them well beyond her years. These songs, with the addition of a second guitarist and drummer, are very full and powerful, the guitars loud and powerful, the vocals and harmonizing nearly perfect. It’s a wonderful thing, the ability to create music this nice, this moving. I hope Wood continues in this vein.