Laurelin Kruse

“Jupiter” – Laurelin Kruse

Languorous and fetching, “Jupiter” is all slow-motion swing and achy melody. For a sparsely instrumented song, the vibe is rich and dark. Kruse has a velvety, k.d. lang-ish voice and she plants it into something of a ghostly setting, with verses sung over a distinctive rhythm section—a nimble, deep-register thumping that’s either a very percussive bass or a very tuneful drum or, maybe, resourceful programming. There’s something of a cartoon graveyard in the sound, a feeling augmented by the minimalist guitar work and an evocative electronic crash or two. The verse takes its time. Do not be in a hurry.

A delicious wash of a drum roll (0:56) deposits us into the chorus, which offers a grand payoff, with that pining, melody and a busier but vague aural landscape that now seems to be incorporating some strings and a new guitar sound or two. This is wide-ranging, lonesome music, and I have no particular idea what she’s singing about (even with her apparent hint; see below), but those repeating words hit me, mysteriously, in the gut: “And seventy years/Is still too soon.” And then, those equally mysterious and yet more disconcerting parting words: “Keep your hat on.” Hit repeat. Keep listening. It’s hard to stop once you start.

I learned about “Jupiter” through a short email sent by Kruse herself. Yes, that’s sometimes how I find out about things. Needless to say I get kind of a ton of email and most of them either try too hard, or too little. This one hit a rare sweet spot. “I’m a girl from Colorado stuck in Brooklyn and this song is about how I’m always trying to get the hell home,” she wrote. Also: “It’s like a meteorite crashing into a Spaghetti Western.” Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t but I liked her email and I like this song. It’s from an EP entitled Winter in Mind that Kruse self-released earlier this month. You can listen to it, and purchase it, from Bandcamp. You can download “Jupiter” via the link above, or at Kruse’s SoundCloud page, where you can also leave a comment for her if that’s your idea of a good time.