Artist: Tobias Jesso Jr.
Label: True Panther Sounds
Release Date: March 17, 2015
By: Joseph Kurbanov
Tobias Jesso Jr. is not your average 29 year-old Canadian musician from Vancouver. Originally the bassist for the band, the Sessions, Tobias became the bassist for teen pop singer, Melissa Cavatti before releaseing his debut album, Goon. His singles, “True Love,” “Hollywood,” and “How Could You Babe,” have garnered much attention, especially the latter.
The album features a tranquil touch of simplicity surrounded by McCartney-esque melodies against the swaying rhythms of major piano chords. Jesso incorporates the warm sounds of Randy Newman, Harry Nilsson, and Tom Waits and creates a organic musical gem.
In, “How Could You Babe,” the slow, hesitant verses build tension up until the epic breadth of the chorus. Jesso sings with a natural voice crack in his upper register in cry of desperation. The songs “Hollywood” and “Leaving LA,” reveal Jesso’s history as a nomadic musician in Los Angeles. The songs are unified by the sense of instability in love (makes sense, since the album was written after the end of a relationship).
Throughout the album it becomes evident that the idea of heartbreak revolves around the necessity of music to heal these pains. Jesso convinces us that heartbreak is worth it for the pain-pleasure paradox of his music. He is a wounded soldier, observing the battlefield after the war called love.
Jesso is like a young Elton John, where his words are the soundtrack to his music. Amongst the infinite layers of production we hear in modern music, it is both refreshing and relieving to sit back and listen to a simple statement of humans’ most common yet infinitely intriguing emotions. All is understood when there’s a piano and the grainy voice of innocence.