Reviews

Jensen Sister’s Yellow Frames


By Brian Rock

Hot on the heels of their critically acclaimed 2019 EP, Highway Hippie, The Jensen Sisters return with the release of their debut full length album, Yellow Frames. The talented songwriting sisters combine elements of country’s extensive patchwork past to create a vibrant, new brand of music that they affectionately dub, “New wave retro country.” After hearing their expert blending of classic styles and modern themes, it’s hard to argue with that label.

The lead track, “River Song,” is a cheerful, bluegrass song. Backed by buoyant fiddle and steel guitar, the sisters sing, “Life is a river and I’m floating downstream. Taking what it gives, not keeping a thing.” Singing about enjoying the simple pleasures of daily life, the Jensens issue a call to seize the day and enjoy each moment to the fullest.

Full of sibling synergy, Kansas and Kendra Jensen blend their vocal harmonies to create a unified vocal performance with more depth and texture than any one singer can achieve. Like a countrified Ann and Nancy Wilson, they write and perform (with Kendra on guitar) their music with passion and precision. And despite their youth (20 and 17 years old,) they have an almost encyclopedic knowledge of various Country styles. 

“Beat of a Bad Habit,” is a harmonica heavy honky tonk number that celebrates being born and raised on the wrong side of the tracks. “All the Way Through,” taps into folk rhythms and Hammond organ chords to tell a story of true love. “Good for You,” is a sassy modern country song about kicking a loser out of your life. “On the Fringe,” adds funky, country rock guitar breaks to advocate rugged individualism. “The Marshall County Incident,” is a cosmic country account of Minnesota’s most famous UFO sighting. The delightfully unexpected Tejano country of, “Matches,” is a cautionary tale of excessive pride. “Don’t Wait;” ironically slows to a ballad pace in urging us not to hesitate when we know the right thing to do. “Lightning Rods,” again embraces modern country stylings. Fittingly, they return to classic country to end with, “Yellow Frames.” Another fiddle heavy tune dripping with optimism, the Jensens remind us that, “the stars shine when you ain’t looking.” It’s a powerful reminder of the power of our own thoughts to shape our own reality. So focus on the sunshine, not the clouds. Or as they put it, “Living life in yellow frames. Put ‘em on, watch the weather change. It becomes what you make, seeing things in a golden way.”

With their irresistible vocal harmonies and cheerful country rhythms, The Jensen Sisters are the ray of sunshine we all need in this overcast 2020. Hopefully, Yellow Frames, will be the first of many successful albums for these supremely talented sisters.

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Brian Rock

Brian Rock

Brian was raised gypsy style, moving every other year until well after college. As friendships proved to be temporary, Brian found a constant companion in music, wearing the grooves off Beatles and Dylan albums before moving on to Lyle Lovett and Dwight Yokam. Living so often in flux, he has come to value music and lyrics of lasting quality. Not moved by trends or fashion, he is drawn to timeless lyrics and soulful rhythms. Although now settled down, Brian still expresses his gypsy spirit through his writing. He has co-written songs with musician friends he’s met along the way, including several contributions to the 2012 ICMA Album of the Year, Family Album. Brian also writes children’s books and poems, including the Children’s Book Council featured title, The Deductive Detective.
Brian Rock

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