Author Archives: Carrie Hill and Jeff Berrall

TVD Vinyl Giveaway: Cassandra Jenkins, Play Till You Win

A beautifully produced pop record from a bygone era that dips its toe into the country, the americana, the folk, the cosmic, the psychedelic, and with songs like “Red Lips” we’re even hearing a nod to the Twin Peaks theme song.

It’s the kind of record, and Cassandra Jenkins the kind of woman, that David Crosby would proudly mention as a recent discovery. Comparisons can be drawn to Aimee Mann, but these songs and this sound are all her own. Her voice holds the delicate innocence of a young girl, but her maturity is clear in the tone of her writing and thoughtfulness of the arrangements.

We initially heard it as a break up record, which Cassandra disputed, but nevertheless feel free to lean your broken heart into lines like, “it’s with her that your heart belongs, ever since I introduced her to you,” which comes from “Tennessee Waltz.”  It’s one of our favorite songs on the album, more country than pop, and so good it tricked us into thinking it was a cover.

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Delicate Steve guides us through his new album This Is Steve

A few weeks ago, we sat down with Delicate Steve and listened to his new album start to finish, talking process and inspiration.

This Is Steve launches with a riff straight from the gut. Day 1 in the studio, he walked up to the mic and thought, “Tame Impala is a big band,” and let it rip. After 5 years, 3 studios and still unsatisfied with the results, Steve Marion, aka Delicate Steve, had arrived at Outlier Studios in June of 2015 intentionally cold with nothing written, embarking on a journey of automatic writing, musical free association.

He’d come to realize he felt most happy with the first Delicate Steve album, and it had been recorded with the simple goal of finishing an album within a set period of time. Thus was the mantra at Outlier. “I’m going to go up there and just do the first thing that comes to mind. I need to finish this album because I know if I don’t finish it, I’ll get in my head.”

We were floored by this idea. Jeff literally stopped the record, exclaiming, “Are you kidding me? That’s f’ing crazy? Are you hearing this?” Obviously this could have easily backfired, and you end up like Some Kind of Monster-era Metallica standing around in the studio without a single lick. We are often trying to remember that place in the mind where the songwriting spark happens. It’s hard to recall, vague and illusive, but here it is captured on tape.

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