Cassandra Jenkins – “Hard Drive”
A couple weeks ago, the New York-based musician Cassandra Jenkins announced her sophomore album, An Overview On Phenomenal Nature, with the lead single “Michelangelo.” Today, she’s back with the album’s second single, “Hard Drive,” a leisurely build-up of scenes that finds Jenkins voice sliding between spoken word and sultry crooning. Backed by a saxophone and some guitar-playing by Josh Kaufman, it reminds me a bit of Broken Social Scene’s more celestial musings.
“I’m happy to be releasing ‘Hard Drive’ on a day when we’re collectively turning the page in America,” she said in a statement, referencing today’s inauguration day ceremony. “A lot of ‘Phenomenal Nature’ was reflecting on ways to heal during the Trump presidency when I was looking for inner strength and change. I hope today we can take a deep breath, count to three, let go of the last 4 years and start to look ahead at the next chapter.” Jenkins continued:
This song is a ride through a strange month in my life in between two tours – the cancelled Purple Mountains tour and a West Coast run opening for Craig Finn. It’s part travel diary and part spiritual character study, weaving together encounters with a security guard at the Met Breuer, a bookkeeper in Topanga Canyon, my New York City driving instructor, and a psychic at a birthday party. The opening line is pulled from a voice memo of the security guard who pulled me aside to share her thoughts on the exhibition on view, Mrinalini Mukherjee‘s ‘Phenomenal Nature’, and the song closes with Peri Lyons, the psychic who foretells ‘this year’s gonna be a good one.’ And I’m still wondering who, deep down, doesn’t want to hear that, even if that year was 2020?
An Overview On Phenomenal Nature is out 2/19 via Ba Da Bing.