Warren Zanes wrote an interesting piece in The NY Times this weekend on how imperfections can make a record great. This definitely applies to “BLESSED & FAVORED”, a 10-song record by Jingles that raises more questions than it answers. Like: Who is behind this? How can something so stripped down sound so powerful? And, are those tape delays in the recordings intentional or not? The album is out now in a very limited Tape run (20 copies only) by Glad Fact, a label out of Baltimore that has a talent for finding and releasing outsider acts that take a familiar sound in exciting new directions. If you need an example, make sure to check Workers Comp from the label’s roster. Or, check out this Jingles album.
I don’t have much info on this mysterious one-man operation. I could describe his music as alternative americana or outsider country, but I’m not sure it covers the experience of listening to “BLESSED & FAVORED”. It’s basically just one guitar, one mesmerizing voice and one defective recording device, or so it seems. Every now and then the recording slows down, like the tape either gets stuck or starts to unwind. It’s part of the magic of “BLESSED & FAVORED”, a record I can’t stop playing. Jingles plays songs that claw their hooks in your skin, evoking a lot of emotions and feelings, sounding simultaneously eerie, haunting and heartbreaking. Goosebumps? Check.
I reached out to Glad Fact to find out more about Jingles. The response only added to the mystery. Apparently, Jingles is a guy who knows the family of Glad Fact’s founder. Jingles had this to say: “recorded it on the DL at [stripmall pizza place] kind of in secret i think back in February turns out the cameras do work even tho dennis said they didn’t so i got the loading dock job now.” I’m still trying to decipher that message. Jingles definitely is something else.
Add to wantlist: Bandcamp