If you reach out, as far and long as you can, you just might find your “North Star,” a nice little lesson today from Reid Jenkins with his new single. The indie synth-pop track is the latest from the singer-songwriter, whom you might know from his other musical ventures, most notably the indie rock trio Morningsiders that he formed with Magnus Ferguson and Robert Frech. The song is from his latest album Hall of Gems, which he will release soon via Nettwerk Music Group.
“North Star” was an obvious choice for a first single, as it embodies the larger theme at play throughout Hall of Gems. Thematically, much of the album sorts through feelings of restriction and feeling stranded in your own personal way. “North Star” is a way of addressing that frustration, an intention to take yourself somewhere entirely different where you will feel relieved and uplifted.
Discussing his new single, Jenkins states:
“‘North Star’ is the embodiment of the saying, ‘reach for the stars and you’ll land on the moon.’ It’s a synth-pop space odyssey addressed to someone spinning around without a goal, urging that person to go out and find one instead of getting stuck in decision paralysis. Even without knowing where your North Star is, you can still let your imagination fling you into the outer reaches of deep space. Or maybe, as the song suggests, your search might get you halfway to Andromeda, and your North Star is the liberating act of motion itself.
“Aesthetically, I wanted to lean into a retro-futuristic kitsch for this track. Think The Magic School Bus, glow-in-the-dark star decals, school field trips to the Planetarium, Ziggy Stardust, Carl Sagan voice-overs. The result is something equal parts goofy and perfectly sincere.”
While some may take the release of Hall of Gems as a way of Jenkins distancing himself from Morningsiders, and establishing himself firmly as a solo act, the reality is actually quite the opposite. As the band continued to develop and evolve, he felt a need to make his own music on his own terms, which inspired the writing of Hall of Gems. This is his own way of doing things, storyteller songs with elegant instrumentation, and elaborate, detailed songwriting. But these aren’t songs made to sound perfect; they are in some ways rough around the edges and in some places, quite heavy in nature.
Jenkins really evolves as a songwriter throughout Hall of Gems, and he’s quite content to let the music take him to places he’s never been before.