Music Reviews

Cassandra Jenkins An Overview on Phenomenal Nature

(Ba Da Bing!) Rating - 8/10

Listening to Cassandra Jenkins' natural, observational stories brings about the question of how much can we feel for those we don't know. Learning the tiniest minutiae of the New York singer/songwriter isn't particularly novel, though the way she presents them feels almost transcendental. Throughout her second LP, An Overview of Phenomenal Nature, Jenkins talks to bookkeepers and security guards, picks up the mail, and writes songs for her friends. There's something spectral about how these stories unfold, likely due to how winding sax lines and shimmering drones feel omnipresent to her state of reflection. Even the most heartbreaking moments like New Bikini, which references the passing of touring partner David Berman of Purple Mountains/Silver Jews fame, suggest a need for calm. It feels carefully tailored to a fault, making it practically impossible to find its flaws—especially if you find the interchangeable poetic sing-speak of Hard Drive endearing. Nevertheless, this is solipsism of the highest caliber: gentle, hypnotic, fastidious, but above all else, hard to resist.