By Davis Blount
To those who have had the pleasure of meeting or befriending Jenn Blosil, two things become immediately clear: first, Blosil is a true ray of sunshine – someone who seems to subsist solely on sunshine and good vibes; and second, Jenn Blosil is disarmingly honest with seemingly everyone she meets. This candor is a breath of fresh air in real life, and the same feeling endures in regards to This Feels Like Healing, a live album recorded by Blosil and released in 2021. By creating an album that strips back the studio sheen and allows room for Blosil’s voice and message to shine, This Feels Like Healing gives listeners a glimpse into the mind and heart of the artist.
A word of warning to those whose hearts may have recently been broken that plan to listen to This Feels Like Healing: this is not an album to listen to while you stare out the window watching rain gently fall. This is an album to weep to. An album to fully open the floodgates. One that summons snot-bubble inducing sobs that will leave you in a pile on the floor.
With that disclaimer out of the way, attention can now be fully given to the work of art that is This Feels Like Healing. Oftentimes, fans have to grade musicians on a curve when listening to music live. While nothing can quite replicate the energy of a live show, there are often a number of factors that make it a slightly less technically sound performance. This album manages to bring the energy and intimacy of a live show without sacrificing any of the sharpness that is expected of a live album. Blosil’s singular range and rasp float effortlessly from verse to verse, baring her deepest thoughts and feelings along the way. By laying it all out, there is no artifice under which her truth (and her talent) can hide.
One song, “You Never Really Loved Me,” is emblematic of the album’s ability to lay out the truth with absolute truth and courage. A desperate but clearheaded Blosil allows herself to come to the conclusion she’d been dreading in the song:
Your silence says everything
I need to hear from you
But I don’t wanna face it
That you never really loved me after all
While Blosil’s lyrics and sentiment are a near-universal experience, her ability to wrap each syllable in pain and anguish makes the song feel like listeners are being given a piece of her broken heart. To whomever broke poor Jenn Blosil’s heart: frigg off, man.
In the leadup to her album The Blessed Unrest, Sara Bareilles shared an experience meeting a fan that changed her perspective on songwriting. An engaged couple, both fans of Bareilles, shared how meaningful her music was to them and how desperately they wished they could have used one of her songs at their wedding. Unfortunately, all of her songs were about heartbreak and missed chances. It was after that experience that Bareilles chose to write “I Choose You,” a song now heard in wedding venues across the nation.
While Jenn Blosil is under no obligation to write the next great wedding montage song, one can only hope that Blosil’s heartbreak and suffering give way to brighter days, experiences that allow her to pull from the sweet and wonderful things in life. If, however, her music continues to grow out of pain and loss, Blosil can take some comfort in knowing that after releasing such powerful songs, she will never cry alone.
This Feels Like Healing guides listeners through the first step of healing: grief. While the album deals with largely dour subject material, the music’s effect gives way to more gentle feelings. After the darkness comes the dawn, and so too does Blosil’s album give way to a cathartic release. Though Jenn Blosil speaks of deeply personal issues and experiences, the universality of those struggles gives each listener enough to connect with and fill in the spaces with their own lived experience. By the end of the album, it appears that Blosil’s hope for the listener is that they can echo the sentiment in her closing song:
You are a God of miracles […] you have made me whole.
Make sure to follow Jenn Blosil on Instagram and listen to her song “You Never Really Loved Me” below.