Rachael Jenkins – untitled

The lilting guitar is somewhere between Adrianne Lenker’s gossamer-filtered sunlight on “anything” and Laura Marling’s slow-dance sway on “Song For Our Daughter.” The voice, though, is all Rachael Jenkins’, vacillating between boredom and brazenness, arch morbidity and plaintive isolation. In one verse, she mourns the paradoxical fate of marriage (“you’ll end up alone and endowed”); in the next, she feels the adrenaline of setting fire to a temple and being on the verge of death before smiling wryly from the grave: “Blame my mom and tattoos.” There is something daring in her irreverence and determination, to laugh in the face of the institutions that we’re told to consecrate and be our own tragically flawed higher power (“this self-proclaimed quitter,” she sings, as if it’s the most glorious title you can have). Like in the lyric video, the path can be sinuous and shifting, but Jenkins keeps driving underneath twinkling arpeggiations, immune to the threats of being tied or shot down: “Bet you didn’t think you’d see me.”

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