Cassandra Jenkins - An Overview on Phenomenal Nature

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

I don't know anything about Cassandra Jenkins - should I? - but I've been playing this on repeat:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eW8XoovSlsM

Nothing else I've since played by her seems quite as good but I could be playing the wrong things. Any pointers?

And wave if the album is all this good ...

djh, Friday, 12 February 2021 22:14 (nine months ago) link

“Hard Drive” is one of my favorite songs of the year, was expecting the album to be Kaputt 2.0 based on the sound palette of that one but the two other songs released so far aren’t really similar.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Friday, 12 February 2021 22:34 (nine months ago) link

Oh, hadn't heard the third single:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SxE2Hr64pY

djh, Saturday, 13 February 2021 22:44 (nine months ago) link

Weird - the first five shops I looked for this had sold out.

djh, Sunday, 21 February 2021 15:57 (nine months ago) link

Saw her play live a couple times, good stuff.

calstars, Sunday, 21 February 2021 16:10 (nine months ago) link

This album is so good, I’ve had it on constant play all weekend. Just lovely. I went back and listened to the previous one, and it’s good and you can see where this came from, but the new one is a leap in all kinds of ways.

a man often referred to in the news media as the Duke of Saxony (tipsy mothra), Sunday, 21 February 2021 16:39 (nine months ago) link

The rest of the (very short) album is more conventional than “Hard Drive,” but really the whole album flows as a unified work, with “Hard Drive” at the center and an amazing instrumental called “The Ramble” at the end. (A Central Park shout-out I assume, full of bird calls.)

a man often referred to in the news media as the Duke of Saxony (tipsy mothra), Sunday, 21 February 2021 16:41 (nine months ago) link

It warrants a few plays. By which I mean, Hard Drive aside, it took a few plays to land with me.

djh, Sunday, 21 February 2021 19:05 (nine months ago) link

The instrumentation here, the weave of sax and flute and guitar reverb, feels organic to the music but also unexpected. I mentioned Astral Weeks on the Indie thread, the other thing it puts me in mind of in some ways is Kate Bush’s Aerial — it doesn’t really sound like either of those, but it shares a kind of transcendental vibe.

a man often referred to in the news media as the Duke of Saxony (tipsy mothra), Sunday, 21 February 2021 19:56 (nine months ago) link

Rolling INDIE 2021

here's the discussion from the indie thread, hadn't realise someone had made a thread already

really great album, totally sublime. it does have a similar sort of transcendental sunset vibe to aerial, i get the comparison. for me it's like someone let a folk album dissolve into the backing band from kaputt.

ufo, Monday, 22 February 2021 02:09 (nine months ago) link

transcendental sunset is my new favorite subgenre.

a man often referred to in the news media as the Duke of Saxony (tipsy mothra), Monday, 22 February 2021 03:57 (nine months ago) link

This is good, it kind of reminds me of the first Eleanor Friedberger album - what with the saxophone, personal narratives, etc. (plus the mention of the Inn of the Seventh Ray).

stuck in the version layer (morrisp), Monday, 22 February 2021 17:31 (nine months ago) link

Knowing next to nothing about Jenkins, I hadn't clocked the David Berman connection - presumably the "David" in "New Bikini" but possibly not.

djh, Monday, 22 February 2021 22:46 (nine months ago) link

Yeah, I read an interview with her where she talked about that. That is a reference to Berman, although it doesn't sound like they were exactly close — he had recruited her for his touring band, and she was really excited about it.

a man often referred to in the news media as the Duke of Saxony (tipsy mothra), Monday, 22 February 2021 22:52 (nine months ago) link

"Hard Drive" also makes me think of late '80s / early '90s Lou Reed – can't put my figure on specifically what song or album – but it's the sing-speak thing, plus the sax and other elements of the musical setting. Feels like a nice touchpoint for an NYC-based singer/songwriter...

stuck in the version layer (morrisp), Tuesday, 23 February 2021 17:35 (nine months ago) link

Reminds me a bit of Mister Heartbreak-era Laurie Anderson, not miles away from '80s Lou.

a man often referred to in the news media as the Duke of Saxony (tipsy mothra), Tuesday, 23 February 2021 18:07 (nine months ago) link

I also thought a little of early Suzanne Vega (another New Yorker)

stuck in the version layer (morrisp), Tuesday, 23 February 2021 18:08 (nine months ago) link

That dry, precise, self-aware diction

stuck in the version layer (morrisp), Tuesday, 23 February 2021 18:17 (nine months ago) link

Yep. She's a downtown gal, basically.

a man often referred to in the news media as the Duke of Saxony (tipsy mothra), Tuesday, 23 February 2021 18:52 (nine months ago) link

the second half (last 4 tracks) of this is gorgeous

gman59, Tuesday, 23 February 2021 20:34 (nine months ago) link

Yea this is an amazing late 80’s art pop album: Siberry, Laurie Anderson, Kate Bush, Mary Margaret O’Hara, Stina Nordenstam... drenched in something like Lanois reverb. Lovely.

akm, Wednesday, 24 February 2021 05:56 (nine months ago) link

Not to accuse it of plagarism or unoriginality, just pointing out the palette

akm, Wednesday, 24 February 2021 05:56 (nine months ago) link

I was checking out her earlier stuff; really liked the 2013 EP.

stuck in the version layer (morrisp), Wednesday, 24 February 2021 06:25 (nine months ago) link

it's a little more restrained than most of those 80s artpop albums but i hear the connection to that lineage

ufo, Wednesday, 24 February 2021 08:25 (nine months ago) link

i was completely unfamiliar with stina nordenstam before though and i'm listening to and she closed her eyes right now and it's great!

ufo, Wednesday, 24 February 2021 10:34 (nine months ago) link

oh you are in for a treat, wait til you get to the follow-up Dynamite

boxedjoy, Wednesday, 24 February 2021 11:20 (nine months ago) link

Gosh, the final track of Jenkins's 2013 EP ("Birthday Song") is just gorgeous:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4GbcmMoIDo

Reminds me a little of some of Nico Case's more languorous stuff. There's a beautiful moment in the middle where she sings "They waltz into... a room of darkness"; and the music shifts into to waltz time.

Her 2017 LP seems more... '70s style? I'm not connecting with that one as much.

stuck in the version layer (morrisp), Wednesday, 24 February 2021 21:59 (nine months ago) link

I listened to those EPs last night too, I really like them! thank you for this thread, I found a new artist that I really like.

akm, Wednesday, 24 February 2021 23:33 (nine months ago) link

Haven't listened to the early EPs yet, I need to. I agree on the '17 album, it seemed nice but didn't grab me.

a man often referred to in the news media as the Duke of Saxony (tipsy mothra), Thursday, 25 February 2021 19:53 (nine months ago) link

I also love the thematic through-line of this album, of loss and grief and recovery. It's there from literally the first line and recurs over and over in ways that seem both sad and hopeful. Very much a COVID album even if it's not specifically about COVID.

a man often referred to in the news media as the Duke of Saxony (tipsy mothra), Thursday, 25 February 2021 19:58 (nine months ago) link

The 2018 EP ("Live in Foxen Canyon") is really nice... most of the songs are from the LP, but they breathe more in this setting.

stuck in the version layer (morrisp), Thursday, 25 February 2021 20:57 (nine months ago) link

love her voice

stuck in the version layer (morrisp), Thursday, 25 February 2021 20:59 (nine months ago) link

The penultimate track on the LP is a jam -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWffzwmK4Ww

stuck in the version layer (morrisp), Friday, 26 February 2021 18:21 (nine months ago) link

“Hard Drive” sound palette is definitely 80’s but the half sung half spoken vocals remind me of something from the Morr label like Lali Puna. It’s killing me that the “one two three” reminds me strongly of another song which I have in the tip of my tongue and I can’t quite place it.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Friday, 26 February 2021 19:54 (nine months ago) link

Interesting piece - turns out she has played w/Eleanor Friedberger: https://pitchfork.com/features/rising/cassandra-jenkins-an-overview-on-phenomenal-nature-interview/

stuck in the version layer (morrisp), Monday, 1 March 2021 23:50 (nine months ago) link

And with Uncle Earl, too. Her family sounds interesting.

Is this widely available (in the UK) yet? CD seems to have been on order for an age ...

djh, Saturday, 6 March 2021 12:09 (nine months ago) link

I think it’s come and gone (I’ve missed it too) - the place I had it on order from said they’ve been told “they’ll be front of the queue if there’s a re-press”. Al though the ba da bing bandcamp is still selling them if you’re prepared to stump up postage from the US.

Tim, Thursday, 11 March 2021 11:24 (eight months ago) link

Ah, yes. We may have ordered from the same shop!

djh, Thursday, 11 March 2021 12:31 (eight months ago) link

I've ordered it twice - once from Sister Ray and once from Reflex in Newcastle. Haven't heard back from the latter but I would be surprised if it arrived now.

Actually it turns out the total cost of ordering it direct from the ba da bing Bandcamp, even with postage from the US, is roughly the same so I might give that a go.

Tim, Thursday, 11 March 2021 14:55 (eight months ago) link

Just received the CD copy of EP which I ordered via Bandcamp (with little handwritten note from her) - very happy to have it

beer drops on my keytar (morrisp), Tuesday, 16 March 2021 21:49 (eight months ago) link

It's showing as a "pre-order" at Norman Records now though still just "unavailable" at Sister Ray.

Did Ba Da Bing just under estimate the demand for this, I wonder?

I'm still at the "play at least once everyday" phase ... though, sadly, via Spotify. (I have the CD on order).

djh, Monday, 29 March 2021 20:06 (eight months ago) link

FYI I ordered the CD (to the UK) through the Ba Da Bing bandcamp and it arrived the other day - the order seems to have been sent from Melodic records (the label) in Manchester so maybe they still have a few?

Wish I’d known, there are a couple of things I want from Melodic and it would have been good to save on postage!

Tim, Monday, 29 March 2021 21:57 (eight months ago) link

I think the PR is associated to Melodic.

djh, Monday, 29 March 2021 22:20 (eight months ago) link

This is very pretty music

Indexed, Monday, 5 April 2021 19:56 (eight months ago) link

one month passes...

Did anyone actually receive this from Sister Ray? Only just occurred to me to check and it is showing as "In Stock" there.

djh, Friday, 21 May 2021 17:58 (six months ago) link

two weeks pass...

Anyhow. This remains my favourite album of 2021, so far. I don't have a good sense of what I want to say about it, though.

djh, Wednesday, 9 June 2021 20:42 (five months ago) link

This is really great! FYI if you are in the US and still looking, I was able to get a CD copy from Midheaven.

a superficial sheeb of intelligence (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, 9 June 2021 20:48 (five months ago) link

Still my favorite album of 2021, too. Some of it ("Ambiguous Norway") reminds me a lot of Bon Iver's self-titled album, albeit more restrained.

Indexed, Wednesday, 9 June 2021 21:32 (five months ago) link

certainly a contender for my favourite this year

ufo, Wednesday, 9 June 2021 22:49 (five months ago) link

Liking this - Live on KEXP at home - a lot (Have just skipped to the songs so far):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pg_ijQmHVPo

djh, Tuesday, 22 June 2021 10:44 (five months ago) link

^I was watching this last nite; nice performances for sure.

search term: buttrock (morrisp), Thursday, 24 June 2021 17:57 (five months ago) link

(she also seems like a cool person, for whatever that's worth)

search term: buttrock (morrisp), Thursday, 24 June 2021 18:02 (five months ago) link

Yeah, yeah she does.

djh, Thursday, 24 June 2021 19:36 (five months ago) link

She's an interesting artist: has been recording a while, but has only released one full-length LP, plus various EPs and singles. It feels like she sort of focuses on "minor statements" instead of grand gestures, and records when inspiration strikes (maybe approaching music-making similar to how a visual artist works?).

search term: buttrock (morrisp), Friday, 25 June 2021 01:11 (five months ago) link

Then again, I guess multiple EPs & singles are pretty common these days (on every level of the biz).

search term: buttrock (morrisp), Friday, 25 June 2021 01:12 (five months ago) link

i've listened to this album while on sunset walks a dozen times since spring -- i'm not sure it would make sense to me in any other context now -- and it's easily my favorite new record in a long while

Clay, Friday, 25 June 2021 01:35 (five months ago) link

this year's album was her second full-length though?

ufo, Friday, 25 June 2021 03:03 (five months ago) link

I guess you’re right, it is being referred to as an album (I’ve been thinking of it as an EP; it doesn’t quite feel album-y to me).

search term: buttrock (morrisp), Friday, 25 June 2021 03:23 (five months ago) link

two months pass...

Taken me a while to get round to this but damn it's beautiful. Perfect as the evenings draw in and the year wheels into autumn.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Saturday, 4 September 2021 18:35 (three months ago) link

four weeks pass...

I've returned to this after a bit of a break and ... it's utterly magical.

djh, Saturday, 2 October 2021 19:31 (two months ago) link

I think the record this reminds me of most is Stina Nordenstam's Memories of a Color. It's warmer overall, but has a similar coherence of vision and emotional tone.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Monday, 4 October 2021 20:41 (two months ago) link

one month passes...

She’s got a new EP out that seems to contain demos and other stuff related to the last album.

apparent beef squash (morrisp), Sunday, 21 November 2021 02:32 (two weeks ago) link

Great alt lyric (from the demo):

Call me Michelangelo
I’m a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle
My DNA looks pretty strange
Must be something in the water

apparent beef squash (morrisp), Sunday, 21 November 2021 02:35 (two weeks ago) link

Is that the real lyrics?

✖✖✖ (Moka), Sunday, 21 November 2021 04:10 (two weeks ago) link

Yes!

apparent beef squash (morrisp), Sunday, 21 November 2021 04:28 (two weeks ago) link

I think I may actually prefer this to the album itself (...which still feels more like an EP to me, although it does squeak over the 30 min. mark). Obviously it's more "for fans," though, not a starting point.

apparent beef squash (morrisp), Sunday, 21 November 2021 19:05 (two weeks ago) link

The alternate version of the album is very good.

djh, Friday, 3 December 2021 19:03 (three days ago) link


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.