by Tyler Hayes
As a broad comparison, if you’ve enjoyed Zooey Deschanel’s She & Him musical project, Jenny Mayhem has something suited for you. Perfectly quint at first introduction, Jenny Mayhem’s voice dances around the melody on her new single, “Shifter.”
The song is a mid tempo gem that’s littered with lyrical hints that she’s a big fan of the TV show, Fringe. That, or at least it sparked a thought that resulted in “Shifter” which is a reference to a shape changing person. Regardless of your television habits, the new song is incredibly charming from start to finish, completely unassuming the entire time.
Previous work from Mayhem foreshadows the new material, but doesn’t quite capture the same essence. “Wide Open” is a track from 2011 which, at first blush, appears to be a comparable track, yet never fully develops and leaves the potential untapped. Starting off with “Shifter” and working your way though her back catalog will still pay benefits, but just not as many as for those fans that have grown with the songwriter. Part of the difference between older songs and the new one is simply the production – co-writer and producer Pouya Birgani seems to have added to the new sound. Her 2009 album, ‘Keep The Fire’ is primarily just a backing acoustic guitar with the occasional variance. “Shifter” on the other hand is lush and layered at the first down beat, her voice subtly sculpted with effects.
It appears, with “Shifter,” that the original potential ‘Keep The Fire’ brought are now beginning to be fully realized. If subsequent songs are anywhere near the same quality, Jenny Mayhem will be a tremendous female artist, going just enough against the current musical grain to garner that extra attention it takes to appear on people’s radar. Looking forward to 2013, fans only have good things to look forward to.