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Song Premiere: John Heart Jackie - Cardinal Song


After a six year break, John Heart Jackie released their long-awaited sophomore album, Episodes, in January. The album, recorded entirely in Portland, OR and originally conceived as a collection of singles, is a series of vignettes tied together by thoughts of love, loss, longing, and youth. Despite the duo’s distance (Peter Murray based in Brooklyn, NY and Jennie Wayne in Portland), they managed to set up a bi-coastal recording schedule to complete the record. As Murray explains, “Episodes is a musical representation of a partnership in all it’s glory and dysfunction.”

Peter Murray and Jennie Wayne of John Heart Jackie.

Peter Murray and Jennie Wayne of John Heart Jackie.

Amanda Haka/Courtesy of the artist

Now, mere months after the album’s release, John Heart Jackie is releasing an EP of B-sides from the Episodes recording sessions on June 22nd. You can listen to the album’s lead track, “Cardinal Song” exclusively at opbmusic (above).

John Heart Jackie have shown that they aren’t afraid to take chances. The group experimented with a variety of instruments and sounds throughout Episodes and “Cardinal Song” is no different. The track is an ode to a “relationship that was shrouded in stipulations,” according to Murray. “The instrumentation builds from a simple synth and drum machine to a full band with distorted guitars, as if the frustration of the relationship rises with the song,” he says. “It’s like watching a great talent never reach their potential.”

That might sound like a difficult listen to some. But after all, as Murray asks in the song, “What good is comfort for comfort’s sake?”

John Heart Jackie play at Mississippi Studios in Portland, OR on June 22 along with Johanna Kunin.

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