NYC singer/songwriter Cassandra Jenkins recently released the folky "Michelangelo" off her upcoming sophomore album An Overview on Phenomenal Nature (due 2/19 via Ba Da Bing), and today she has shared the album's second single, "Hard Drive." This one's a lot different than "Michelangelo," with Cassandra delivering spoken word and hushed singing over melancholic piano, delicate guitar arpeggios by producer Josh Kaufman, and meandering jazz sax by Stuart Bogie. What both songs have in common, though, is that there's a calmness to them that's contrasted by the weight of Cassandra's lyrics. "Hard Drive" manages to be highly specific and personal while delivering a timely message that applies to the current state of America.

"I'm happy to be releasing ‘Hard Drive’ on a day when we're collectively turning the page in America," Cassandra says, referring to this song coming out on Joe Biden's Inauguration Day. "A lot of ‘Phenomenal Nature’ was reflecting on ways to heal during the Trump presidency when I was looking for inner strength and change. I hope today we can take a deep breath, count to three, let go of the last 4 years and start to look ahead at the next chapter."

She continues:

This song is a ride through a strange month in my life in between two tours – the cancelled Purple Mountains tour and a West Coast run opening for Craig Finn. It's part travel diary and part spiritual character study, weaving together encounters with a security guard at the Met Breuer, a bookkeeper in Topanga Canyon, my New York City driving instructor, and a psychic at a birthday party. The opening line is pulled from a voice memo of the security guard who pulled me aside to share her thoughts on the exhibition on view, Mrinalini Mukherjee‘s ‘Phenomenal Nature’, and the song closes with Peri Lyons, the psychic who foretells ‘this year's gonna be a good one.’ And I'm still wondering who, deep down, doesn't want to hear that, even if that year was 2020?”

The song comes with a video (by Josh Goleman) of Cassandra traveling through nature, speaking the song's lyrics to herself. "When we lose our connection to nature, we lose our spirit, our humanity," she says. Watch/listen below.


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