Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound Engineering by Patrick Stolley
Recently, a hotel shower in Seattle gave some new insight into the refreshing effects of an outside source - something as flimsy and minimum - on the beginning of one's day. There had been little sleep taken and early morning wakeups while there in the city, so the roll out of bed showers in a place with Nirvana ties were the splashes of awareness and awakening that needed to be had, preludes to strong coffee, helping hands. An unsuspecting scalp was treated to the complimentary hair conditioner of some odd mint variety that it sent a cooling chill into the hair follicles and down into the eyebrows, loosening a stern and hardened squint. It almost watered the eyes with its stiff mint elixir and suddenly the bright daylight was welcomed closer and the body and mind were charging, glad that we'd done this together.
This was just a hair conditioner, nothing to get too excited about, but within seconds, each time it happened, the prospectus of all that laid ahead was altered, turned into potential merriment, etc. Suddenly, the day was ripe and pregnant, not something to address and fight with. Pepi Ginsberg, the newest signee to the amazing Park The Van Records galaxy, is a lot like the effect and the effecter in the mint conditioner anecdote above, as ludicrous as that sounds - a person taking on the characteristics of a hair product that's really no more special than a toothpaste or a drop of cream in a deep cup of that morning coffee. She likely does appreciate the slight twists that can have significant effects on a countenance and a temperament as the music on her debut album is teeming with nods to perception and happiness being so gradually and terrifically affected by the most minute things. Her looks at life are from all of the different perspectives allowed. She looks and looks, burns holes into the unsuspecting passerby that she lays down as the crust for her pies. She rolls these people and the ways that she likens their mannerisms and hopes, dreams and aspirations may be out into a thin layer that fits the tin bottom. She loads the pies up will fillings and feelings, tops them off with a homemade overlay resembling those people and original thoughts that she imagined and then slices three slits in the top to allow all of the things she packed inside a chance to breathe. They take on new lives, just as the ones that Keri Russell made in last year's "Waitress," with the tastes and flavors opening up upon themselves to create a sensory mood that bears witness to the world - especially the New York and Philadelphia worlds of Ginsberg - as the peacock and mute bird that it is.
Ginsberg, in her soulful and breezy style, alludes to the secret folds of people and all that they stand for as they try to navigate all of the difficulties that line up each morning at the stoop, handing you the newspaper as they come in and tuck themselves into the briefcase or carry out bag that you leave the house with. Her explorations in the elasticity of free will and the need to leave everything up to the almighty chance and arbitrary encounter are wonderfully rich and voluminous in their font and thoughtfulness. She doesn't make snap judgments or phrases, but ones that have adult teeth and some age lines cracking out of the corners of their eyes, showing their maturation. As Ginsberg and band played a late afternoon show on an outdoor stage at her label's showcase at SXSW in March, the waning light and a light breeze sailed gently in from the lake, she wore big sunglasses, though she didn't need them and she moved as if so much was in her trying to get out - again being acted on by the forces outside of control and by a seeded spirit that could out watt everything from the outside but instead just mixes with it until there's no distinction.
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Pepi Ginsberg Official Site