Interview on Mike's Daily Podcast, chatting about the debut of the new monthly live music series, "Irene Pena's Lo-Fi All Stars", and the importance of helping artists be heard, specifically by (an active) crowd-speaking campaign called Thunderclap.
Irene Pena enters our radar as an adept young singer and songwriter whose new EP, Trying Not To Smile, did the opposite of what its title suggests, bringing a broad grin regardless. A five song set, it shows a singular spirit, a sound that’s upbeat and infectious, and a determined drive and delivery that affirms the fact she’s in this game for keeps. In some ways it’s reminiscent of the giddy girl groups of an exacting ‘80s vintage — sparkly, robust and unencumbered by angst but smitten by attitude. Pena provides the perfect anecdote for today’s sobering times, a reminder that music can lift us out of our doldrums and yes, put a smile on our face when needed. BTW, nice to see my writer pal John Borack pitching in on drums for three tracks. It’s clear proof that even we geeky writers can also practice what we pitch.
Lee Zimmerman, Goldmine Magazine
Pop Garden Radio's Top 25 Songs of 2017
Here are the Top 25 most played songs on Pop Garden Radio for 2017. It was a fantastic year for new music, no doubt about that. This year we once again had two Artists of the Year. Congratulations to Irene Pena and Fernando Perdomo for capturing this honor.
Irene Peña is a sweetie. Her songs are sweet (even when they imply mature grit beneath the sweet veneer), and her public persona is sweet (even as her dedication to her craft remains determined and steadfast). Our recognition of Irene's overall sweet-as-cake demeanor derives from our interactions with her, especially when we play her music on This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio with Dana & Carl. She seems surprised. She seems delighted. She is, one suspects, fully as sweet as she seems.
...(click HERE to read entire article)
Carl Cafarelli, Boppin' (Like The Hip Folks Do)