“Hi-Rise Ranch, is a masterpiece, this EP is packed with toe-tapping, high energy songs from start to finish. From the first notes the listener will be overwhelmed by the soulful, rootsy voice of Jacobs, the incredibly strong beat of the music, and the powerful lyrics. “
“where singer/songwriter sounds are headed in the near term. A wild ride. 5 out of 5.”
“Jacobs is known for her slick guitar playing and prowess as a multi-instrumentalist, but her singing is the most potent element of this collection of funky, tight, and driving roots rock.” - Geoff Geis, LARecord
“Smoldering New Tunes: The EP packs a lot of atmosphere into its brief length, and the mood lingers long after the CD has stopped playing. Really good music can do that.” ParcBench
“Pi Jacobs is definitely a singer with class and her songs carry real weight and melody on their own.” - Andy Snipper, Blues Matters
“absolute belters” - Ian Ambrose, Maverick Magazine
Singer-songwriter Pi’s got this very nice long-player out called Fire Horse Girl, produced with high style and taste by Randy Wine (U2, Aretha Franklin). Very nice? Well, in a way-overcrowded field of singer-songwriters who trendishly seek to evoke the depth and charms of their great forebears from the ’70s, Pi somehow carries it off, and she does it with the most deceptively simple tools: She writes memorable tunes, and she sings them with a satisfying alto sweetness that’s free of “singerly” gimmickery. That simplicity also applies to her lyrical matter, which, like so many others’, addresses the trials and tribulations of love, loss, liberty and life itself; yet on songs like “Santa Ana,” which weaves gingerly finger-plucked acoustic guitar around Pi’s unadorned voice, and especially the chart-topper-in-a-parallel-universe “Brand New Shoes,” with its strolling bounce and sunshiney harmonies, that ’70s vibe gains an addictive new relevance. (John Payne)
The title of singer/songwriter Pi's new alum gives a lot of insight into what you can expect from her music. According to Chinese astrology, women born in the Year of the Fire Hose, "are said to consume everything in their path and wrak havoc wherever they go. They are considered dangerous, headstrong, and are seen as deadly to men." Well then, so much for the usual alt-folk indie pop fare. The record is shot throught with minor chords, slow-burning harmonics, and arching hooks, all supporting Pi's powerful, low-slung, achey-breaky, wistful vocals that charm in a strange, been-around-the-block, but still innocent kind of way.
Singer/Songwriter Pi Jacobs makes unusual music about the usual things-like love, innocence, secrets, and sex. On her new single Trying to Be Loved, Jacobs took a hard look back at a once-insecure younger self--and decided to throw her a party. This afternoon’s free show features live music from Pi and special guests, drinks, art, and the sweet feeling that you’re breaking the rules.
Los Angeles indie artist (sweetie) Pi Jacobs is, as she puts it, the “product of San Francisco Hippie parents”. Jacobs first demonstrated her vocal talents in her Haight-Ashbury preschool Chorus. Jacobs recalls: “Music and musicians were always around. Some of my first memories are of concerts my parents took me to”.
As the years went on Jacobs would not only continue to sing in school but would also learn to play the guitar and bass. She would leave high school early in order to study “and earn a bachelors degree in Music.”
Soon after she would be working “as a top tier studio and touring musician in the San Francisco Bay area” and after a few years she would write and release her (2001) debut disc, Irrational on the FusiPumper label. The twelve-track album included such songs as the lead-in “Therapy”, the almost groovy, tuneful “Target” and the noteworthy closing cut “Secret Man”. The recording was successful enough to help Jacobs land a management deal with New York City’s Alabina Entertainment and a European record deal with France’s Atoll Music label. (She would eventually land over 50 song placements in television and movies as well.)
2004 would witness the release of her sophomore CD Beat Mining in Dark Places on her new label ThatCrazyChick Music. The work features 11 tracks including the strangely inspiring “Barefoot”, the coming of age cut “Freaks” and the local fan favorite “San Francisco”. Three years later Jacobs would release The Curse of the Songwriter. This would be a 14-song project highlighted by the album’s longest number “Prozac”, the apropos “Princess” and the closing cut and title track “The Curse of the Songwriter”. Both Irrational and The Curse of a Songwriter would later be heard in motion pictures such as The Princess of Nebraska--directed by Wayne Wang (Joy Luck Club), The Appointment and Fixing Rhonda.
Jacobs, who tours the US and UK whenever not writing and recording, has worked with such producers as Pfilbryte (TommyBoy- Ignition) and Randy Wine (U2, Aretha Franklin) who produced her 2009 album Fire Horse Girl. On this album Jacobs is backed by Joel Alpers (drums and percussion), Fredo Ortiz (percussion), Paul Eastburn (upright and electric bass, viola and violin), Aaron Jacobs (acoustic guitar), Ted Selbert , Doug Gorlin and Tim Young on (electric guitar), Daryl Shawn (Spanish guitar), Justin Reinhardt (grand piano), Michael Bluestein (piano and keyboards), Johnny Thunder (trombone), Dan Boissey (tenor sax), Steve “Mofongo” Giraldo (trumpet) and Randy Wine (acoustic guitar and percussion). Jacobs, of course, leads the way with her vocals, acoustic guitar and additional percussion.
The 11-track recording opens on “Reckless”. This is an effective introduction to anyone who has not previously heard Jacob’s material. The second selection is a 1970s-inspired, bouncy bit titled “New Shoes”. Whether it refers to a new lifestyle, a new lover or a new attitude is not clear. In fact, whether or not it’s any kind of musical metaphor matters little next to the fact that the song simply works.
The following tune is titled “Pocket”. Here Jacobs keeps things moving along to the following song “Santa Ana”. Jacobs changes it up a bit and slows it down with this slightly ethereal, wistful piece which—coincidentally—your randy reviewer first heard while experiencing said winds. It definitely sets a mood.
“Reverie” is one of the best tracks on the entire album. It gives one a brief glimpse into the lives and thoughts of artists who often forsake a so-called normal life in order to do their own thing. Complete with lyrical lines like: “is that the doorbell that I hear? / The Mormons they have found me here/Well, what would Jesus do if he was me?” this one can’t go wrong.
“Feet Of Clay” follows here. This is yet another song on which Jacobs displays her versatility. It’s airy, interesting and obviously inspired by her past influences.
The next number, “Nemesis”, is also one of the highpoints on the disc. It takes “Critic’s Choice” for Jacob’s fresh approach to a common theme. It certainly makes a statement about relationships without falling into the trap of being just another where the female vocalist places all the blame on the man. It’s a clever way of pointing out that sometimes we can’t live with each other but we can’t live without each other either.
“Amnesiac”, “Not Over” and “Ace” come next here. These are a few more examples of Jacobs’ talents as a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist and contain their own memorable musical moments. These songs further demonstrate her sincerity and her unique voice which John Payne of LA Weekly contains “a satisfying alto sweetness that’s free of ‘singerly’ gimmickry”. Jacobs once more changes pace as she takes things down a notch on the closing cut “Light” which no doubt leaves her fans wanting more.
The album was generally well-received and has been licensed to Road Rules, The Real World, and The Kardashians for MTV, Bad Girls Club for the Oxygen Channel and iCarly and Zoey 101 for Nikelodeon. Jacobs, who has also worked as a producer and engineer, also released a new video and single—“Trying to be Loved”—which was produced by Eugene Toale (Kanye West, Mya) and debuted it recently at the first secret Hit and Run, AfterSchool Special held in Los Angeles. In fact, Jacobs states: “We hope to do another ‘Hit and Run’ in the spring!”
Jacobs will be performing live on March 25th at the Rockwood Music Hall after which she returns to Los Angeles to play on April 1st in Silver Lake at 3:00pm at The Thirsty Crow. It’s very fitting that for Pi Jacobs things are most certainly “Not Over”.
My name is Phoenix and . . . that's the bottom line.