Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney // Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
It makes me so tired - not in a bored way, nowhere near - but in an actual tired, exhausted, beat way, listening to Jemina Pearl tell her tales. When she gives it her all, when she cranks it up at night, bones get broken, glasses and bottles get broken, noses get broken, people get messed up, things get sloppy and somewhat dangerous until everyone passes the fuck out. It's in the morning that they all wake up with throbbing hangovers and they laugh at the great mess that they made in their altered state. The former Be Your Own Pet lead singer, now out on her own, makes music that celebrates everything young and foolish. It actually celebrates all of the bad decisions that come when those are the only decisions that sound like they'd be fun, when there's a belief that there's an immunity factor to fall back on, in case anything were to really backfire. The people that Pearl sings about, and this mostly means her and her friends, are the sorts of people who have checked into a hotel and swiped someone else's credit card at the front desk to cover any incidentals that might incur during their stays. They're able to just tear it up with impunity. They can throw televisions out the window and into the swimming pool. They can curse loudly and cause as much trouble as they want to because there's nothing better to do and people expect it out of them. The 24-year-old from Nashville, Tennessee, has always relied on this rebelliousness as her muse. She's listened to what it's had to say and then she's performed above and beyond all expectations, trumping the destruction and craziness that was suggested. Youth never lasts though. She goes to the bottle and keeps fighting with the idea that most things are a pain in the ass to get through or deal with, needing something to bring her to some kind of enlightenment. She takes care to seem aloof and she embodies the character that she's created. You wonder when staying up and out til dawn and wanting to leave a city in flames when you've leave it wears off and there's a stronger desire to see what it means to stifle some of the urges. You wonder what a girl becomes when she stops running with the wolves and the neck crackers, when she decides that she's exhausted by the hellion phase too, when it becomes part of the past that's always great to bring up, but not out at parties. It's the second act that will define her the most.