Today Texas’ Jesse Jerome Jenkins (of Pure X) shares Hard Sky‘s opener, “Luck”. Unpredictable, spontaneous, yet deliberate and intentional in its compositional trajectory, Hard Sky precariously sets a course lead by Jenkins’ endearing embrace of both the euphoric and abysmal actualities of this life. By invoking the aid of luck, a palpable, pervasive acknowledgement that both the highest highs and lowest lows are equally possible permeates throughout the LP. Both lyrically and musically, it’s almost as if Jenkins is simultaneously laughing at life’s inevitable struggles while accepting that he is barely hanging on.
Unabashedly American in its roots, Hard Sky utilizes and completely rarefies aspects of country, R&B, folk, blues, and minimalist-jazz, all coalesced into a modern, approachable formation. Whereas Pure X wrote their languid songs as a unit of shared consciousness, Hard Sky is a remarkably singular effort that puts the singer and multi-instrumentalist on full display from the inside out. Hard Sky is a direct expression of Jenkins’ bleak, yet playful, personal creative attitude; all narrated and guided by his unmistakable buoyant vocals.
Though largely a personal affair, Jesse is joined on Hard Sky by long-time collaborator Austin Youngblood (Pure X) on drums, percussion, and sax, Kyle Dixon (S U R V I V E) with live-processing, synthesizers, and effects, and Daniel Aged (Inc. No World) on eloquently played pedal steel guitar. Additional contributions from Malcolm Elijah on grand piano, Memo Guerra on B3 organ, mixing help from Stephen Orsak, and a guitar performance from Matty Tommy Davidson (Pure X) round out Hard Sky‘s cast of characters as a legitimate creative-family reunion.