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Helen Gassmann

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Biography

Brought up in the small town of Hamburg, Pennsylvania, Helen Gassman is the area’s biggest musical sensation, and her guitar doesn’t even have a pickup.

Although still in highschool, Helen Gassmann is incredibly prolific, having penned over a hundred compositions since she first received a guitar four years ago at the age of twelve. Her talents have attracted listeners around the globe, earning her songs to be featured on the London-based Internet radio station Damnably in an hour-long podcast.

Gassmann describes her music as “bedroom prophesies written by a 16-year-old girl,” but a quick listen will reveal that her songs are written with a maturity and artistry that are well beyond her years. Otherwise, she couldn’t be more accurate: her songs are remarkably honest and personal portraits of suburbia, centered heavily on daily life as a teenager. But unlike most music written of the same subject, hers is in no way trite, wishy-washy, or over-romanticized to the point of sappiness. Hearing her music is as powerful and intimate as it would be to have her standing straight across from you. It’s like sitting down for a long talk with your best friend and listening to them spill their guts out – Gassmann just does it in a way that you can sing along to.

Stylistically, her music is at best described as acoustic minimalism, drawing upon the influences of a wide range of artists, all the way from Leadbelly to Andrew Bird. Her simple, lyric-based songs have led her to be compared to artists such as Conor Oberst, Mirah, John Darnielle and Elliott Smith.

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