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On ‘pawnshop,’ poet laureate Kara Jackson’s verses have bite

Every Monday, Add of the Week unveils all the new songs going into the 88Nine on-air playlist, with one hand-picked selection put in the spotlight by a member of our music team.

On her newest single, “pawnshop,” Chicagoan Kara Jackson steps into Joni Mitchell’s sonic space with her soft-but-bitingly-smart sound; her version of intelligent folk elicits repeat listens and sonic layer excavations to uncover a more nuanced vibe laced with RnB.

Writing a tidy song that’s two minutes and 39 seconds long doesn’t hurt the repeatability, either. Not many artists can accomplish writing a shorter song that feels instantly replayable but totally complete. It’s also worth it just to go back for this line: “I’m not a liquidated asset / I’m sharper than a jewel / What kind of miner does that make you?”

The former National Youth Poet Laureate recorded the demos for her forthcoming album Why Does The Earth Give Us People To Love? in her childhood bedroom, and fellow Chicago-connected artists NNAMDÏ, Kaina and Sen Morimoto all helped with the re-recording. This record’s gonna be good.

You can listen to “pawnshop” right here and on 88Nine by tuning your FM dial in Milwaukee, or streaming worldwide on our website and mobile app.

This week’s other adds

  • “Miami,” Caroline Rose
  • “Love Is The Way,” Thee Sacred Souls
  • “Joiner,” Blondshell
  • “Lord Have Mercy,” Durand Jones
  • “Collapse,” Y La Bamba
88Nine Music Director / On-Air Talent | Radio Milwaukee