New York City based Cassandra Jenkins, a songwriter who “knows how to leave an impression” with “elegantly celestial climaxes, emerald green-glowing guitar work”(P4k), has just released her much anticipated first full-length album, Play Till You Win. The cosmos in Cassandra’s self proclaimed “Cosmic American” songs are both macro and micro, within and without you, as a certain Beatle would say. Ghosts of All Things Must Pass haunt the record’s melodies as a constant stylistic lodestar, with nods woven throughout to Lee Hazelwood’s Hollywood-and-Vine country surrealism or Angeles Badalamenti and David Lynch’s work for Julie Cruise, resulting in a tapestry that is “tender and trance like” (Interview Magazine).
What makes her new collection of songs stand out from fellow acolytes of psychedelic burritos and dusty journeys through gilded palaces of sin, is that her vision and scope of influences are broad, idio-syncratic and ever-changing. Much like Gram Parsons, one of several patron saints lovingly looking over and bestowing their grace over Play Till You Win, Cassandra uses the clarity and smoldering sense of longing conveyed by her “smokey vocals”(NPR) to transcend her urban surroundings in order to connect to a deeper, quintessentially American vein of expression that showcases a sophisticated art heart and a mature point of view about the masks and complications of desire.
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