Pure X's music has always evoked a very particular kind of heartbreak for me: that dull, summertime sadness that never fully bubbles over the surface, omnipresent and gnawing but also blunted by the heat. It's a feeling that I've begun to strangely look forward to every time the steamy, stinky months in New York are about to roll around, which means that this new solo track from Pure X's bassist Jesse Jenkins couldn't have come at a better time. Jenkins' voice is one I'm already familiar with—he'd been stepping up to the mic with greater frequency on Pure X's last few albums, offering a sharp complement to Nate Grace's languorous tenor with his own whispy falsetto—but if you needed proof that he's one of the chief architects behind the band's dependably devastating, lightly country-indebted songwriting, then "Hotel Rising" is your jam.
"This is kinda the first one I wrote," Jenkins told The FADER via email, speaking of his recent foray into solo writing. "I sang the melody into my phone when I was driving back to Austin from L.A. by myself. I was driving through dust storms the entire time, and kept having to pull over and wait for it to clear up. I just sorta dictated the song to myself and described the feel of the crazy dust cloud light that was going on, and the instruments i wanted to use, then came back and recorded it. [Pure X drummer] Austin Youngblood plays drums on it and [Silent Diane's] Eli Welbourne plays the grand piano."
Photo credit: Ashley Thomas.