Stream / digital

Jenny Mae

Jenny Mae made only two full length records, both released just two years apart in the hey-day of 90’s indie-rock where small labels rose up like mushrooms in a tropical forest and like so much of the music from that time was easily overlooked and disappeared. Jenny’s music found a small , devoted audience and her music was covered not only by many fanzines but also by Rolling Stone, Spin, Interview, even Entertainment Weekly. She played shows and some tours with Guided by Voices, Magnetic Fields, Neko Case, Chris Knox and more but to see her live one never knew what one would see, perhaps on a good night, a deeply moving set sung in her sweet midwestern voice or maybe a woman who could barely stand, her keyboard falling off a bar table she set up on stage as she usually didn’t have a keyboard stand.

Jenny lived life how an engine swallows gasoline, hot and quickly except her gasoline was alcohol which she used to quiet her undiagnosed schizoaffective disorder and by the early 2000’s she went from living in Coral Gables to living on the streets of Columbus, Ohio in a matter of weeks. She remained homeless for nearly three years in Columbus and Miami with various stints in jail or the many hospitals she would visit until her predictable death in 2017, which of course, was in a hospital surrounded by her family and friends.

Her music was sweet, catchy and at times bawdy---some songs as short as Bob Pollard ‘s who championed her and others lush electronic that was closer to My Bloody Valentine or OMD. She was a fan of the Beach Boys and Beatles growing up in rural Ohio, and started writing songs in high school. Eventually she started recording on a borrowed Tascam 4-track in the late 80’s, songs as innocent as Daniel Johnston’s or the Marine Girls. Some of these earliest recordings are gathered here on this compilation that stretches from 1988 through 2016, where her last recording, the devastating “Not Another Bad Year” was recorded months before her death. Side two contains some of the singles she recorded for various indie-labels that have not been available since the mid-nineties and several unreleased songs from a never materialized third record. She was a force for everybody who knew her, and she was one who lacked ambition, or maybe the organization to do what folks around her thought was “normal”, she wasn’t made for a traditional life. -Bela Koe-Krompecher, 2022