Jessica Lea Mayfield played tracks from her new release, Make My Head Sing…, at the Casbah on Saturday. The album marks a departure for the Ohio singer/songwriter, emphasizing heavy guitar crunch over the country-pop of her earlier efforts. Her San Diego set followed suit, with distorted songs like the squawking “Oblivious” bullying softer ballads like “Blue Skies Again.”
Local act The Midnight Pine opened the show with a reduced lineup. Despite the absence of the band’s keyboardist and percussionist, the remaining trio’s spell over the crowd was undiminished. The usually chatty Casbah attendees hushed themselves to let the beauty of sparse songs like “Buried,” “Always,” and a cover of Radiohead’s “Exit Music (For a Film)” wash over them. The Midnight Pine’s unwavering command over the crowd left little doubt that they are one of the best bands in San Diego right now.