LA Songstress Jenna Kalista Drops Rollicking Singalong "Progress Illinois"
Last summer, pop songstress Jenna Kalista debuted "Phoenix," her fiery first single. Now, the classically-trained vocalist returns with "Progress Illinois," a folk-tinged single written and produced with her father.
"Progress Illinois" opens softly, but with a theatrical flair that grows as the track continues. Having been vocally trained in both classical and opera, Jenna is able to perfect waves of different vocal deliveries, from snappy, steady hums to high-energy howls. Throughout the track, twinkles of dull keys burst beneath rapid-fire percussion, each element coming down from their climax to pulse calmly during Jenna's quieter vocal moments. When the arrangement rises, though, there's an instrumental unity that ties the track together. "Progress Illinois" is a lively, rollicking singalong begging for top volume replays.
"I did this song with my dad," Jenna tells The Music Mermaid. "He wrote it when I was really young -- I remember singing it around the house with him. He waited until I was ready to sing it on the album and then sent it to me again and asked me to sing it for him. We finished writing it together, so I did a few of the verses with him back in 2016. This song is super special to me because it was a family project -- I thought my dad was going to have someone else sing for him, but he asked me instead. It's kind of his baby, but I am really happy to have been a part of it."
This kindred spirit can be felt in the way Jenna's strong, versatile voice soars above her father, Steve Bates, on shimmering keys. It's felt in the way Jenna's voice fades out at the end, allowing keys to step in for one more sparkle before they, too, dissolve.