Ian Penn is a singer-songwriter from Mt. Arayat, Philippines. His songwriting was nurtured in the quiet of the countryside and on wide open highways. Raised by a family of music lovers, he started writing songs at 16 inspired by Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan. His onstage charisma and undeniable musicality captivated audiences, rapidly gaining him a following of fans in Metro Manila.
A travelogue of songs written inspired during his travels on a nationwide tour in 2015 became his debut alt folk album “Water from the Creek”. It was released to critical acclaim, being hailed for wistfully nostalgic songs and lush instrumentation, evoking memories of youth and freedom. The album was crowdfunded by overwhelming support, with the campaign earning 128% of its goal. His songs are proof that the art of crafting melodic songs with richly-constructed narratives are truly timeless, resonating across generations.
With the heart of a wanderer, the itch to travel has led him to play shows nationwide from small, intimate venues to headlining shows at Teatrino, Greenhills. He embarked on his first solo Philippine tour in support of “Water from the Creek” playing in 30 cities from Luzon to Mindanao. After the tour ended, he released his debut poetry book ‘What Happens to a Dream? Volume One’ in the August of the same year. He toured across the country again to promote the book with his backing band, playing in independent bookshops and medium sized auditoriums.
His sophomore album ‘From the Rear View Mirror’ was released in July 2019. Written in the picturesque landscape of Bukidnon, Philippines, these songs of isolation are recorded in San Isidro Cathedral with the Bukidnon Parish Youth Choir. A short documentary film called ‘Death of a Traveller‘, a companion piece for the album, was released the following year.
Released in early 2020, ‘Goldfish Memory’ is a 4-track Live EP recorded in Analog Heaven Studios with Pat Sarabia on drums, Bergan Nuñez on bass, and Bea Fabros on lead guitars. A highly collaborative effort in the making, ‘Goldfish Memory’ is an experimentation in psychedelic folk and film noir.
“No matter which mountain or city his folk music takes him, Ian Penn never loses his old soul and youthful curiosity.” – Rogue Magazine
“…heart-tugging lyrics over lush folk and alt-country instrumentation, taking a step back toward simpler times. A deep, resigned intimacy runs through the songs, as if Ian developed a richer tapestry of experiences to draw from. It’s good to hear his lyrical exploration grow over time, working on a smaller scale yet filling the center with the gift of sophistication and earnestness.” – FHM.