The Sound Cafe
18-Year-Old Singer-Songwriter From Michigan, Aspen Jacobsen, Releases Debut Full-Length Album
'Arsonist Daughter’ is the debut full-length album of Aspen Jacobsen, one of America’s most promising young singer-songwriters.
Recognized as one of the top vocalists in the USA by the Young Arts Foundation earlier this year, listeners are surprised by 18-year-old Aspen’s empathic and thought-provoking lyrics and her flair for time-honoured roots music. She tells stories like a country artist and speaks her mind like a folk musician with personal and progressive original songs that are reminiscent of artists like Joni Mitchell, Ani DiFranco and Anais Mitchell.
Her new album laces a burning motif throughout its eleven tracks which indeed ends with the instrumental track “Arson” which acts as a symbolic rebirth. In her songs, Aspen tackles issues such as relationships, religion, mental health, and social constructs with insightfulness well beyond her years.
“I don’t like to preach my own beliefs, but rather ignite thought and reflection about things
that are important to me. I hope my music can help spark dialogs that lead to change and making the world a better place.”
Co-produced by Aspen and Dominic Davis, the recording of the album ‘Arsonist Daughter’ started more than 18 months ago. Aspen had two recording sessions in Nashville Tennessee at OmniSound Studios with Dominic Davis, a coveted producer and skilled bassist who regularly tours with Jack White. They co- produced four songs that were released as singles in late 2021 and early 2022. In June 2022, Aspen finished two songs started with Davis and also recorded and produced four new songs herself in Ann Arbor, Michigan at Big Sky Recording.
In August 2022, she began studying music and songwriting at the University of Southern California. “It’s an exceptionally intense program, but I can’t wait to set some roots in Los Angeles,” explains Aspen. “My goal is to be a full-time, touring singer- songwriter.”
She is also a gifted instrumentalist who plays acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, mandolin, piano, keyboard, and ukulele, and she also contributes these skills as an accompanist and arranger for other people’s songs. She also holds sponsorships with Fishman, Reunion Blues, and Shubb Capos.
Yet, she is an individualist — she aspires to make folk music resonate with her generation while reverently carrying on the tradition of writing music of the people, for the people. “I first heard old time music at my first music festival, and I immediately connected with the music and the community. There was so much love and acceptance there,” she recalls. “I soon realized that this is what I want to do with the rest of my life.”