Half Gringa, The Nunnery (MSP)

@ The Whistler

Wednesday, February 21 ~~ 9PM

An emotional scab-picker, Half Gringa‘s work explores the confluence of Latinx and Midwestern identity. Her first LP, Gruñona, reveals a palimpsest of wounds upon scars. Contemplative and choleric, all manner of memorials to the past are revealed—mountains, dive bars, orchards, trains, expressways, tiny kitchens, Chicago, Caracas, and outer space.

Gruñona was named one of Chicago Magazine’s 10 Best Chicago Albums This Year: “Few artists are cutting records with the intelligence of Izzy Olive, the avant-garde indie singer-songwriter who performs as Half Gringa. The Carbondale native’s brand of alternative folk, which incorporates chamber rock and jazz, is decidedly blunt in its lyrics and scope, tackling issues of class and violence in jarringly plain verse. Chicago has been a breeding ground for boundary-pushing female songwriters—from Liz Phair to Angel Olsen—and Gruñona has Olive primed for the same type of breakout.” —Britt Julious


The layers of The Nunnery’s voice build into a chorus; each song or performance becomes a calm, meditative experience. The Nunnery is about collaboration and combining music + art with an audience.

"You might get lost amongst the layers of melodies and harmonies, taking time to formulate each track. When you press play, it’s hard to believe there is only one voice behind this work of art, as you’re hearing dozens. The only instrument used is the heartbeat of a drum sprinkled throughout the album. What keeps James’ musical style interesting is the slow build up of vocal percussion building upon itself. This stylistic choice transforms listening to experiencing." -Emily Kinzel, Volume One Magazine