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Sounds | Jensen McRae - Massachusetts

Label haar aub nooit als R&B muzikante "Dat heeft louter met mijn 'kleur' te maken!". Singer-songwriter McRae zegt beïnvloed te zijn door Carole King, James Taylor, Stevie Wonder en Alicia Keys. Ik hoor vooral die eerste beide - en ook wel Tracy Chapman of Phoebe Bridgers - in haar songs. Folk dus, licht hellend naar alternatieve pop, soms een vleugje country. Massachusetts laat een zachte, smachtende McRae horen. Een jongedame die na een stukgelopen relatie terug geneest en haar herwonnen vrijheid omarmd. Als verteller pur sang weet ze me met haar rijke stem en manier van fraseren moeiteloos te boeien.

Luister ook naar: Sing For My Supper


LA based songwriter and musician Jensen McRae has shared new single ‘Massachusetts’, and announced her signing to Dead Oceans (Mitski, Phoebe Bridgers, Khruangbin).

“I don’t have main character syndrome,” McRae says, “so much as I have narrator syndrome.” Her songwriting often begins with the smallest snippet, overheard words or phrases that light up a title or a concept. It’s conversational, interactive in how it often sparks from the people and places around her. It also shows up in McRae’s output, which is prolific, generous, and blisteringly unafraid of failure.

“Massachusetts” began as a short social post, one of many she has shared in pretty much realtime. It spawned numerous covers, interpretations, duets and even titles - the song became known as #videogames or #christianbale by growing hordes of fans imagining completed versions - before finally arriving as McRae’s first release on Dead Oceans. 

Born and raised in LA, Jensen McRae has studied and made music for most of her life. She attended Grammy Camp in high school and graduated from USC’s Thornton School of Music with a degree in Popular Music. McRae’s debut album, Are You Happy Now?, was written mostly when she was just 21, and explored what she describes as her “musical coming of age.” Again, here, McRae’s talents as a narrator loom large; Are You Happy Now? navigates identity from its deepest foundations – life as a young, bi-racial Black and Jewish woman – to its most personal musings – do I trust you, do I trust myself. McRae is working toward her next album, due to come out next year, and she knows the breadth of that collection carries a different heft. “I’ve lived a lot more, and have a lot more experience to share,” she says. “The record will touch on those moments that are harder, less healed. But before we pull back the curtain,” McRae continues, “it feels right to touch on this hopeful moment.”


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