Premiere: Jenny Owen Youngs Shares “Dungeons and Dragons”
Echo Mountain Is Out March 10th
Mar 09, 2021
Photography by Jenny Owen Youngs
Singer/songwriter Jenny Owen Youngs certainly keeps busy. Aside from her own music, she has prolific co-writing credits, a popular Buffy The Vampire rewatch podcast (for which she just composed 17 original songs with co-host Kristin Russo), and, most recently, a new band, L.A. Exes. In between all that she’s also managed to record a new EP, Echo Mountain. She’s already shared most of the songs from the six-track EP, delivering thoughtful nostalgic ruminations on youth accompanied by gorgeous folk arrangements. Just ahead of the March 10th release date, Jenny Owen Youngs has shared the final song from Echo Mountain, “Dungeons and Dragons,” premiering early with Under the Radar.
“Dungeons and Dragons,” in keeping with the themes of Echo Mountain, reaches back through time to visions of childhood escapism. As Jenny describes, “This song is about using a role-playing game as an early escapism tool. It’s also about the fear of turning into the worst parts of the people who raise you.” Jenny finds solace and comfort in the game, retreating into worlds of magic and fantastical heroes, a world where she observes “Monsters look like monsters do.” In the real world, things aren’t so simple. As Jenny notes, sometimes the monsters are “neighborhood kids with their hands full of rocks for you” or even “the grown-ups who should be protecting you.”
The gently plucked guitar arrangements swell as the song builds, joined by atmospheric shots of percussion and sprawling electric guitar. Jenny retreats into the beautiful reverie of instrumentation shortly before the song bursts back to reality. Now only accompanied by mournful acoustic tones, she recasts the song’s villains in more personal terms: “Now I come home full to the brim/It’s hard to feel like I’m not some part of him/Oh no can’t hide from myself/I know that there’s still hell to pay/Now I’m the one paying.” Jenny elevates the song past a nostalgic tribute to childhood fantasy, turning the track into a heartbreaking reflection on generational scars and delivering the most moving track of the EP.
Check out the song early below and watch for Echo Mountain, out March 10th. You can also tune into Jenny Owen Youngs’ upcoming Echo Mountain livestream show on March 25th at 6 PM EST.