press photo credit: Andrew Mason
Today Sis, the project of multi-instrumentalist Jenny Gillespie Mason, is sharing the wild new Danski Tang animated video for “Wooie” via Under The Radar. Check the premiere out here. Sis’ upcoming Gnani EP is due January 7th, 2022 on Jenny Gillespie Mason’s own label, Native Cat Recordings. UTR described the new single as “exploratory and subtly psychedelic bliss, making for a vibrant pop journey that proves well worth taking.”
Jenny gave some words on the meaning behind the new single:
“‘Wooie,’ the place where I wanted to reach towards, when the confused, wizened reality of 2021 around me was sinking in more and more, some kind of invented city where Edenic stirrings met communal life. Seeking out the “woo” in astrology, tarot, Jungian dream analysis, the writings of Rudolf Steiner–what to others may seem like escapist jibber-jabber, but to me gave me a sense of magic and a horizon and depth. And oh, that beat I’d made on Ableton Push–I just had to have it throughout, urging me onward to that funky true place–and I just had to have Brijean play congas on it–and she did!”
Sis is singer and multi-instrumentalist Jenny Gillespie Mason. Founder of Native Cat Recordings, which has released albums by Bay Area artists Luke Temple, Brijean, and John Vanderslice, Mason has turned once again to her own music with a new EP called Gnani.
Gnani (January 2022, Native Cat Recordings) arrives at the culmination of a lifelong journey of being a musician, working with collaborators near and far in studios across the country. Most of Gnani, however, was recorded at Mason’s home studio in Berkeley, CA.
The true work behind Gnani was to seek a new wholeness through song. Inspired by the uncompromising spiritual jazz of Alice Coltrane—the kind of music that seems to wordlessly get at a human life’s divine strivings—Mason set out to write a new work to reach that deeper place within herself and to heal. Not only to heal from the wreckage of the collective years 2020-21, but to join together the sometimes fragmented paths as mother, wife, artist, and individual.
Using vintage keyboards such as clavinet, Phillicordia, Rhodes, B3 Hammond organ, Farfisa, and ARP Odyssey, she sought to weave an intimate but vibrant sound that fuses private psychedelic journeys with the more joyful group-calls of electro-pop. Working in Ableton and tapping the endless sound vaults of Omnisphere, and drawing on her longtime admiration of Four Tet’s synthesis of sampling, loops, and heart-centered compositions, furthered these new sonic explorations.
Bringing in the intuitive and fierce playing of Brijean Murphy (congas, bongos, percussion), and Doug Stuart on bass, brought Gnani to its fullest expression. Reading a quote by Nisargadatta Maharaj—”The gnani (the one who knows) does not die, because he was never born” —cinched the album title for Mason, who had been exploring this idea of a timeless nature within both the self and the flow state of creative process. With an intention to heal the listener—while healing herself through the creation of these songs—Sis offers you Gnani.