Jenn Vix is a creative, courageous, and connected artist. She’s a survivor – her life story and professional career validate the power of perseverance.
Vix’s music is hard to categorize, (and she likes it that way.) Her tagged genre might fall under the “alternative” umbrella, but her sound can be categorized as electronic rock, trip-hop, modern new wave, electropop, funky alternative, and electro-industrial. Her voice is sublime, razor sharp like Annie Lennox (Eurhythmics), along with the edgy spirit of Chrissie Hynde (The Pretenders), Shirley Manson (Garbage), Florence Welch (Florence + The Machine), and a few other musicians and singers who are not women. Two of Vix’s favorite bands are Wire; from the UK, and Interpol; from NYC.
Born in Providence, RI, she spent her early teens surviving the often mean streets of New York City, crossing paths with the likes of Iggy Pop, who lived in her mother’s building, among others. (She later recorded with Pop’s drummer Andy Anderson, also a former member of The Cure.)
Her first professional experience came with an extraordinary one-off line-up. Vix sang back up in in the band Disco Donut, along with singer/songwriter Nicole Willis from Nicole Willis & The Soul Investigators, Adam Horovitz of The Beastie Boys on bass, musician Phil Painson on drums, and investigative journalist David Strahan on guitar. The band may not have lasted long, but the performance bug bit Vix at a young age.
Vix broke out on the national scene a decade later, when her 1995 self-released album simply titled Jenn Vix, received a glowing review in Rolling Stone. The influential magazine gave her rookie effort 3.5 stars and noted “Vix sounds perpetually enraptured. And the Rhode Island multi-instrumentalist has reason to be. Her music–clear, simple melodies awash in echo–is all dreaminess and shuddering, and from inside its swirl, her voice wafts up.”
That success led to her second release Hope Springs Nocturnal in 1998 and then 3 in 2003. Vix later released a series of singles including “Vampires,” in 2010 and “In the House of Dark Shadows,” a 2012 collaboration with Reeves Gabrels, former guitarist with David Bowie, Tin Machine, and most recently, guitarist of The Cure. She followed with “Sick” and in 2013, released her second collaboration with Reeves, “Speed of Light.”
In September of 2014, Vix collaborated on a single track with guitarist Marco Pirroni; formerly of Adam and the Ants, Rema Rema, and The Models. The track is a cover version of Shirley Collins’ “Turpin Hero” and it is featured on the digital download of the compilation album “Shirley Inspired”, (official UK releases date, 8 June 2015.)
Another collaboration followed in 2015, this time with previously mentioned drummer Andy Anderson, who played with The Cure, Iggy Pop, and Hawkwind. “Eyes Roll Back” was praised by Popdose.com, her voice described as “striking, warm, enveloping and emotional.” 2015 also saw the release of “F*ck, Rinse, Repeat – Burn,” and “I Don’t Trust You,” tunes that saw the singer experimenting in synthpop and trip-hop styles. That year, Vix also released a five-track EP Strange Buildings, an album that featured original Psychedelic Furs guitarist John Ashton.
Her 2017 release Unlocked was well-received by critic and fans, receiving a 5-star rating from the influential music blog, Music-News.com. The album, once again featuring guitarist Ashton, was praised as a “brimming bowl of postmodern broth for your delectation.”
Vix is still “perpetually enraptured,” with wisdom and experience. Her latest effort is an EP titled 6, expected in 2019. She notes, “the title is partially inspired by the survival instinct and by the preservation of the self, characterized by Number 6,” a figure shrouded in mystery from the classic UK television series, ‘The Prisoner’.”
“Other tracks are representative of personal things that I have gone through, and the experiences that other people around me have gone through; situations that others might relate to.” It is a mixed tempo EP, with various moods,” explains Vix.
Vix is a compelling and determined musician and performer. In recent years, she’s been performing in the States as a solo artist, and as a member of Boston-based band, Positive Negative Man. Her ever-evolving approach to her craft makes her an artist to watch in 2019. Stay tuned.
— Ken Abrams