Chicago singer-songwriter Will Mackie-Jenkins, a former dweller of the Appalachian mountains in Virginia, released his debut EP Cherries in Bloom last month. Cherries in Bloom tells a narrative of departure, grief, and seasoned love over the course of its six songs.
Folk and bluegrass rhythms of his native Virginia are refurbished, made unique, and combined with an unusual propensity for poetic lyricism that is often simultaneously haunting and sweet. With unresolved memories like, “I killed not a-one, but remember my brother / pointing a gun at the birds up above,” Cherries in Bloom teeters the line between bluegrass and melancholy, brooding folk and hopeful brightness–and conforms neither to familiar musical patterns nor to contemporary genre expectations.
Recorded in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago during late summer/early fall of 2015, Cherries in Bloom has a curious urban sensibility to it–as if the speaker of the songs is reflecting upon a very different past life that can never be revisited, and the “spirit in the bed” can’t be shaken.
Will Mackie-Jenkins will be performing live at The Store — 2002 N. Halsted — on January 16th to promote the EP. The show is free and begins at 9pm.