Native New Yorker Cassandra Jenkins writes with a singular voice and an impressionistic intimacy, making astute observations that dovetail neatly with her blend of folk and lush ambient pop. A veteran musician, Jenkins played in the touring bands of Eleanor Friedberger, Craig Finn, Lola Kirke and Purple Mountains after coming up through the East Coast folk scene playing in her family’s band.
“I was raised by musical parents who encouraged their children’s artistry. My mother would recite George Gershwin on the piano; she taught me how to play my favorite standards. My father loved to sing his own renditions of Dylan and Mavis Staples. He met Mavis on several occasions, and she asked him to marry her, twice. He was drawn to music with a moral compass, a backbone. My father was a student of the Bible, and had a passion for great songwriting. He valued the importance of song itself. I often found myself in discussion with him about my own music. He liked to wrestle with words. He was a master of language. He taught me a great deal about mercy.”
Lowertown, an Atlanta-based band consisting of 20-year-olds Avsha and Olivia, are rejiggering “indie”—in all its residual Gen X pastiche, holdover energy— to sound like nothing else that’s ever existed before. From ad hoc, folky lo-fi soundscapes to more lacquered offerings, their music is at once nostalgic and futuristic, chaotic and orderly, wise and young in mind and spirit. Applying literary and intellectual frameworks like existentialism to music theory to their songwriting and construction, Lowertown looks back at indie’s fraught history with a wink and a knowing nod in a way that belies their youth, positioning Avsha and Olivia as not just musicians, but as cultural curators and in-house theorists similar to their Dirty Hit label mate Matt Healy.