Signing Story with the Excellent Cassandra Jenkins

Date Signed: December 2022

Label: Dead Oceans

Type of Music: Alternative, Indie

Management: Ari Fouriezos, [email protected]

Booking: Adam Voith - CAA, [email protected]

Legal: Paul Sommerstein, [email protected]

Publicity: Pamela Nashel - Siren’s Call, [email protected]

Web: cassandrajenkins.com

A&R: Alia Raheem - Dead Oceans, [email protected]

For the majority of 2022, guitarist, singer and songwriter Cassandra Jenkins was on tour promoting her record An Overview on Phenomenal Nature. She’d planned on self-releasing that album on Bandcamp until Ben Goldberg, CEO of Ba Da Bing! Records & Management, offered to put it out. That got her music heard by a much broader audience than would have otherwise been the case. She began speaking with various labels, including Anti-, 4AD, Sub Pop and Fat Possum Records.

The Rhode Island School of Design graduate was about go on tour with Australian phenom Courtney Barnett when she got a call from her friend, Caleb Braaten of N.Y.C.-based indie label Sacred Bones. He informed her that label Dead Oceans, whose roster includes Bright Eyes, Japanese Breakfast and Slowdive, wanted to talk with her. 

“I had a meeting with the team on Zoom and it was really fun,” the former editorial assistant for The New Yorker explains. “Phil Waldorf has been a champion of mine throughout this whole process and continues to be,” she says regarding the co-owner of Secretly Group, which includes Dead Oceans. Waldorf had actually seen her play her first show in years in 2021. “He basically said he was haunted by the performance in a way that didn’t leave him.”

Underlining their interest in her, the label’s staff began attending her performances. Though excited by their offer, Jenkins deferred until she finished her tour, an experience made extra stressful by the pandemic. She wanted to clear her head with a bit of rest before committing. When she did finally sign, the label’s crew met her in person. “I felt so embraced by everyone.”

Before agreeing to work with Dead Oceans, Jenkins felt it was important to get Goldberg’s blessing, as Ba Da Bing! played a vital role in lifting her profile. Fortunately, he was agreeable. “It felt like a father sending off his daughter to get married or something,” Jenkins reminisces. “He listened to my record before I handed it in to Dead Oceans and gave me feedback. All these relationships continue.” My Light, My Destroyer comes out July 12th.