It’s been nearly four years since the release of Only, Jenny Besetzt’s debut record, and in that time the band has seen lineup changes, shifting romantic relationships and it’s members relocating to different cities. Jenny Besetzt’s latest album, Tender Madness, is the result of the simmering uncertainty of where things might lead. Jenny’s debut was a memory-filled love letter to adolescence, whereas Tender Madness is the sound of forward movement – sounds of discomfort, new love and acceptance.
As a band, Jenny Besetzt now demand their space. Recorded in just a few days at Legitimate Business in Greensboro, N.C., the album is exact: the crystalized product of carving out every song in front of an audience. Structurally, the arrangements on Tender Madness exude a willingness to dig for dark, rough layers beneath the surface, trading pop verses and choruses for more life-like moments (“Authorless Speech”, “Black As The Night”). Drums and bass drive forward with intent to move, while guitars and keys surround and ensnare. Tension on songs like “Lunar Talks” produces an addictive experience, deepening with every listen. But the most captivating are the record’s final two tracks, “Tender Madness” and “The Rabbit”, where spiritual forgiveness and meditative vulnerability act to close out a new chapter for one of North Carolina’s most rewarding bands.