Singer-songwriter Andy Jenkins has a mind set apart from the normal flow of time. And the music that flows from the recesses of that mind feel warm and intimate but completely cut off from the hurried modernity of reality. His words and melodies run on some parallel track that briefly mingles with our own but is quite comfortable following its own instincts and inner voice. With Richmond, Virginia as his backdrop, Jenkins creates pastoral landscapes that breathe with a mercurial curiosity. And they have the distinct ability to ignore the personal defenses we erect and curl up right next to your heart.
For his debut record, "Sweet Bunch," Jenkins collaborated with producer Matthew E. White who will release the album through his label Spacebomb Records on June 15. Backed by some Spacebomb regulars, Jenkins and White were able to build this collection of songs into something magisterial, a commanding presence that evokes the grounded melodies of Kevin Ayers and the pop mischievousness of Big Star. Rooted in the histories of nameless geographies, his songs echo with intimacy and explore the lost art of songwriting which few musicians understand.
On his new single, "Ascendant Hog," he conjures windswept fields and low-light evenings with friends discussing the importance of "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner" by Warren Zevon. There's a casual magnificence to the song, aided by Jenkins' persuasive voice, shimmering guitar lines that evolve into wavering electric dissolves and a subtle percussive rush that perfectly compliments the swaying arrangements. Nothing seems to be in a hurry but nothing ever wanders without purpose either. Through the lens of "Ascendant Hog," we're given a glimpse into an alternate world where time gladly stands still as long as there is music playing. He ends the song with the line: "Now I'm gonna go get good and truly lost." And with this song as his reality, it'd be tempting to join him in that goal.