Baroque Pop Artist Reid Jenkins Announces Debut Solo EP; Signs To Nettwerk
February 12, 2021 BY Nettwerk
Baroque-pop, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and producer Reid Jenkins is excited to announce his debut solo EP, A Beautiful Start, will be released on April 23rd. Reid is one-half of the indie-folk band Morningsiders, who are known for their single “Empress,” which reached the #1 spot on Spotify’s U.S. Viral 50 playlist. Tomorrow, he shares the first taste of his solo work with the soulful jazz-flecked single, “Smile Your Smile.” It is his first release since signing to Nettwerk this past fall.
LISTEN TO (AND SHARE) “SMILE YOUR SMILE:
On his debut EP, A Beautiful Start, Reid Jenkins explores a colorful medley of emotions and musical influences, drawing from his roots in folk music as well as his fascination with sound design and production. Born into a family of musicians, it’s no exaggeration to say that Reid’s childhood was like The Royal Tenenbaums meets The Carter Family. Raised in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Reid, who is trained in violin (jazz & classical) as well as fiddle-music, grew up playing in a family band with his parents and two older sisters. His family became well-known in musician circles for hosting a longstanding house concert series, as well as for opening their home as a stopover for a patchwork of touring musicians, from indie rock royalty to opera singers. Immersed in this exposure to a wide variety of artists from an early age, music has always played a central role in Reid’s life.
After forming Morningsiders with fellow student Magnus Ferguson at College at Columbia University, the duo took a few years to tour post-graduation. It was not until they recently took a break from the road that Reid could learn how to produce and play guitar for his solo project. The four songs that emerged from that exploratory time form a snapshot of Reid’s various internal dialogues as well as his polymath abilities. Working closely with mixer-engineer Jake Lummus, Reid wrote, arranged, orchestrated, and co-produced all the songs, as well as performed many of the parts on the recording. For Reid, the production tells a story as much as the songwriting does: “I like to use real sounds, like recorded violin and guitar because they have a certain resonance as ‘authentic.’ But I also like to contrast these sounds with stuff that is obviously inorganic.” So, for example, he might contrast real horns with a heavily altered tuba sample, or a real drum kit with percussion samples from a Casio keyboard. That blending of real and not real is like a reflection of Reid’s childhood, in which he found refuge in both Nintendo games and frequent visits to the Natural History Museum. In a way, his work is poking at the various hierarchies of realness and authenticity that are so often found in music. Reid adds, “you don’t have to be austere to be intelligent. Intelligence can be whimsical, ecstatic, silly.” In other words, you don’t have to take yourself so seriously to create emotionally resonant work, and that is just what Reid has achieved on A Beautiful Start.
Stay tuned for more to come from Reid Jenkins.