INTERVIEW: Jen Dixon | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Teesside singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jen Dixon is set to release her catchy debut EP Less Than A Feeling this month. With performances alongside Reverend & The Makers, an appearance at Twisterella and her own headline show at The Georgian Theatre, it’s shaping up to be an eventful few months.

Whilst Jen is excited for her upcoming performances, she confesses to still suffering from anxiety in the days running up to gigs, and employs a unique strategy to expel that nervous energy by “jumping up and down a lot and doing a jig with my friend Laura when she comes to gigs”.

Having found a love of music from a young age, Jen was playing drums from age 11, she’s a self-taught guitarist and a qualified sound engineer. While playing drums for fellow Teessider Corey Bowen, Jen has recorded at Abbey Road Studios, played at Green Man Festival and performed at The Old Blue Last with The Magic Gang, where she recalls: “I got a free pair of Converse and thought…I’ve made it!”

Despite suffering from stage fright, Jen took the plunge and accompanied by a friend on guitar she began singing at open-mic nights prior to the pandemic. Having found herself furloughed and isolated from visitors during lockdown she began penning her own songs and recording at home, releasing her debut self-produced single Falling Into You in 2020, which has been followed by a string of further well received releases.

The message is, don’t worry things will always get better

Running her own audiology business and volunteering in her spare time, the steadfast positivity that shines through Jen’s songs is also a strong theme outside of her music. Re-homing commercial laying hens is an example of Jen’s unwavering belief in a happy ending: “Basically we give them out to people in their gardens so the chickens can have a little retirement…I always end up coming home with one myself as there’s always a poorly one, so I’m sat here now with a poorly chicken in a crate and hopefully it will pull through.”

Jen explains that songwriting can be her way of dealing with worries and struggles in life. “Most of my songs come from within me and the way I’m feeling at that time, even if that means getting up at 1am in the morning to get it all out. The only problem is I find it difficult to write when everything is going well…I’ve got nothing to write about, I’m too happy!”

The new EP is of a decidedly indie pop flavour; mixed by Lisa Murphy and mastered by the renowned Pete Maher (Pixies, The Killers, Patti Smith), it has a very authentic feel, with the majority of Jen’s songwriting coming from her own experiences of heartbreak and isolation, yet her songs still convey optimism and self-belief, as Jen explains: “Even though things are bad, there’s always going to be an end to that, there’s always going to be an out…the message is, don’t worry things will always get better.” From the first track Over You, which incorporates rap, to the rockier final track Less Than A Feeling, the EP is catchy and uplifting, encompassing lyrics about insecurities and overthinking that will make it identifiable with many.

Jen Dixon releases Less Than A Feeling EP on 30 June. She supports Reverend & The Makers at KU, Stockton on Friday 14th July.



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