Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording by Ian Harris, Video By Jake Lyle, Words by Landon Kuhlmann
Some songs hold themselves together for the sake of the song: lyrics and melodies need something to hold them up, right? Like building a mantle place for a trophy you just won? Cassandra Jenkins' songs differ from that archetype. They're their own breathing creatures which might hide behind a cloud of smoke just as soon as they'd burst forth from a sudden ray of sun emerging from a pulled curtain. They feel justified in their existence as songs that capture an internalized, personal view of the world just as well as they capture the sound of a time period.
We innovate when it's necessary, but we also consider things necessary when they're innovative. The music in this session is both. That doesn't mean CJ is creating something out of absolute nothing, either—the influences are readily available. There are passages that recall the lead guitar style and tonal characteristics of George Harrison. The last decade full of indie-folk extrapolation also has a hand in the music, but neither of these things ever own the song: rather than existing inside of genre, Cassandra lets genre exist within her songs, in broad strokes and pointed dots alike.
I wanted so badly to write about this session without mentioning David Lynch. But I couldn't lie and say I didn't hear that world in this music as well. Sometimes a guitar riff would transport me immediately into the Red Room. Sometimes a vocal melody would obscure the narrative, turning everything we knew on its head in a stylish, positively dark manner. Large questions are presented and toyed with, but like the ocean recede back into their infinite intangibility.
Cassandra's ghostly indie-pop arranges comforting melodies with acute observations of loneliness. Though it might be shortsighted to call it psychedelic, a kaleidoscope of sound glues it all together. Once glued, they're hung in surreal suspension, a weightless beauty full of meaning.
Cassandra Jenkins Official Site