Jocelyn Mackenzie just released her debut LP, PUSH.
Earlier this winter, we had a wonderful conversation about the album and so much more, which you can listen to now on Crossroads Cafe.
Mackenzie contains multitudes. She makes costumes and knitwear and works as a stylist and art director, she is a wonderful musician, and she is also practicing medium. Her work began with her hearing voices — but instead of letting that scare her, she joined New York’s medium community, and things blossomed from there.
“The main key is trust,” she says of her work with the spiritual world. “Trusting your communication with spirit is so important.”
Her approach to her spiritual work is all aimed towards the goal of fostering healing, comfort, and self-growth. She’s remarkably level-headed about the mystery of her creative and spiritual practices.
“Let’s say you have a really beautiful opening experience with a medium, or any spiritual experience, and let’s say it helps you,” she said. “If it makes your day better — if it gives you a different way of thinking about things… There’s no wrong way to approach it, even on the most secular level. It can help people, or at least spark conversation that makes us think about what we believe in.”
Mackenzie uses her musical, artistic, and spiritual gifts for one purpose: to help and heal others. “Set an intention: I have the highest and greatest good for all involved here,” she advises for anyone looking to create or summon anything.
Mango Leather // jocelyn mackenzie
She has certainly put this into practice; she is, among many things, the founder of the Push Collective, a community of female-identifying musicians who work to create and connect and “restructure the way music careers are born” by sharing skills and knowledge.
All her work and creative efforts have culminated in her debut album LP, PUSH, out now on Ani DeFranco’s Righteous Babe record label. Written for string quartet, the album is a stunning folk-pop treatise on healing and self-love. Sometimes reminiscent of hymnals and old folk songs, but electrified by gorgeous harmonies, modern production, and abundant string arrangements, the album is at once timeless and very much necessary in this moment.
The Brave Ones // jocelyn mackenzie
The songs are sometimes full of foreshadowing, sometimes political, often mythical and ritualistic. The first line of the immensely powerful opener, “Better,” written five years before COVID-19, is “Listen up, the whole world’s in the flux of a fever,” and the album only grows more powerful and prescient from there.
Addressing everything from feminine power to global sickness and healing, the album sometimes is reminiscent of the ferocious delicacy of Kate Bush, sometimes of the fluent mythologizing of Tori Amos. Lush cellos and violins work perfectly with Mackenzie’s fluid and airy vocals, dancing between rage and joy, lightness and darkness, eventually tying them into perfect harmony.
In our interview, we spoke about the album, about spirituality and its connection to creative practice, and about the importance of inviting the energy that you want to receive. She also gave us some overarching advice for an overwhelmed younger generation, based on her readings and work as a healer.
“Something that’s come up is that the younger generations, particularly people in their teens and 20s, are absolutely more cognizant of the cosmic consciousness than even my generation was — and our creativity and connectivity,” she said. “Maybe it’s because of the Internet, maybe it’s our cosmic awakening, maybe it’s TikTok, but people are more aware that we are connected now. I know young people I give reading to are often very burdened and overwhelmed by feeling like this is too much to handle; ‘what change can I possibly make?’ Because they see the enormity of the intensity of our world right now. They see the environment in the state that it’s in and social justice in the complete shambles that it’s in and inequality — they feel it all.”
Mackenzie feels that young people are understanding their connection to themselves and the spiritual world more deeply, which is a gift and a curse. “I think people are waking up as empaths,” she says. “That comes with this intense overbearing burden and almost it paralyzes folks; because they go, ‘I’m just this one little person, how can I possibly do anything?'”
The spirits, of course, have the answer. “I think the key [message] from spirits has been: Yes, stay aware of your conscious connectivity. And trust yourself; trust that you are part of it and your contribution is irreplaceable and completely inextricable from the whole. If I know I have the highest and greatest intention for all, no, I may not be able to be in another state passing a law or a bill. I can only be where I am. But I can trust that where I am is where I’m supposed to be, and I can trust that the skills and talents I’ve been given — when used for the highest and greatest good for all — are always going to align for something greater than ourselves. And it’s not up for us to see that path. We have to have faith in it.”
In the end, Mackenzie advises, the most important thing is to stay true — to the spirit, to the divinity, and to who we truly are, in all of our complexity. “For me, I’m an artist-musician-psychic medium-pie-baking nerd who likes to stay inside,” she said. “It’s really important that we are true to ourselves.”
Listen to the interview and enjoy bathing in the energy that is PUSH below.