Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Shawn Biggs at Studio Paradiso, San Francisco, California
For a while there, at a certain age, the common notion to believe in is that it's all going to work out in the end, that if that particular person is patient enough, everything's going to take care of itself and all of the wrinkles in their story will be pulled out tight and the boil will dull itself down to a calm, cool surface. It's all going to be fine, even when it all looks like a colossal mess at the time. It's that glorious naivety that will eventually wear itself down to a nub in later years - but here now for the win, guiding us to something akin to perspective or whatever. It's this belief that also allows a person to live impractically for the love that they think they deserve, the love that will come to them if they're awake for it. It's something of the good love, the right love - the one that can't be sought, but must intervene and knock you silly. It must come when you're too lazy to accept it, to not recognize it as anything other than indifferent flirtation or misdirected kindness. We submit ourselves to that which might find us, that which might come and just leave us no choice. We'd be foolish not to seek such surreptitious deliveries, for they would uphold all trust in and magic of fate.
JENNY O., a singer and songwriter from Los Angeles, California, made what's going to be one of the best records of 2013, with her Jonathan Wilson-produced, "Automechanic," and it's a collection of songs that finds its characters routinely waiting for intervention, divine or otherwise. It comes from a lazy afternoon and it comes from just putting oneself in a certain place and just waiting out the weather and the burns, the treachery and the conniving. These are people who have decided that they're going to put all of their money on good love finding them, after all, when everything's been kicked and all possible scenarios are vetted.
JENNY O.'s way is one of self-assured beauty. Her way of singing is like a lake in the morning, like a sunset on a perfect evening before someone else tries to ruin it with talking and dumb shit like that. Her way is like lying out in the middle of some gorgeous piece of nature, sunbathing topless and reading a book, not feeling the least bit squeamish, just going with what feels right. Her way is one where she gives her "days to the dealer," and lets him shuffle, cut the deck, deal, and pick up the blind. Her way is one that feels and senses the breaks in the clouds before any other person ever could. It's letting those arbitrary letters, numbers, words, hands, hearts, feet and arms surround us until we're completely smothered and taken care of.
*Essay originally published September, 2012