Jesse Jenkins – “Hotel Rising”

If you’ve heard the daybreak psychedelia of Pure X’s “Thousand Year Child,” then you know why the Austin psych-pop group have developed something of a cult following. Especially on last year’s Fat Possum debut Angel, they honed bleary psychedelia and country sensibilities to a fine point. Jesse Jenkins plays bass and sometimes sings for Pure X, and he hasn’t strayed too far from the band’s tried-and-true formula on his first solo track, which features Pure X drummer and Austin Youngblood and Silent Diane’s Eli Welbourne on grand piano. “Hotel Rising” builds off the shimmery insistence of cymbals and hi-hats, a percussive undercurrent that Jenkins’ fluttering falsetto floats just above. Even if he’s not from L.A., this song reminds me of driving around that city at night, just beyond the reach of the beach, trying to find a warm place amid all the cold light. It’s a transitory song, steeped in the sad, magic loneliness I feel the most when I’m in a hotel. This is the song that plays in the background when you’re traveling and that thought appears out of nowhere: “What if I just don’t come back?” If it weren’t spiked with woozy, siren synths from time to time, I’d file this next to Cass McCombs and Elliott Smith. Clear out a new shelf for Jesse Jenkins, this album is going to be a doozy. Listen.