|Jesse Marchant — Jesse Marchant|
Jesse Marchant — Jesse Marchant
≡⁄≡ Tematicky, i když to nemusí být hned patrné, toto album vrhá na život temný stín. Marchant je introspektivní skladatel, který zkoumá život ve všech jeho rozsáhlých formách a situacích: přes úspěchy i triumf spokojené mysli, aby si nakonec vážil i toho minima samoty s filmařsky zarámovanými bílými čárami na otevřené silnici jako jednoho a jediného společníka temných nocí. ≡⁄≡ The artist formerly known as JBM's first self–titled release. This rich and diverse collection of songs comprises his finest work to date.
Birth name: Jesse Marchant
Born: 1980s, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Album release: September 9, 2014
Recording date: February 2014
01 Words Underlined 6:02
02 All Your Promise 4:41
03 The Whip 2:52
04 Every Eye Open 3:41
05 Reminders, Defeats 4:37
06 In the Sand/Amelia 3:41
07 Snow Chicago 6:04
08 The Road Is Dark & Snowed 3:44
09 Adrift 5:05
10 Stay on Your Knees 3:36
11 Lines on Shore 5:52
℗ 2014 No Other
≡⁄≡ Produced by Jesse Marchant & D. James Goodwin.
≡⁄≡ Dan Brantigan Brass Arrangement, Flugelhorn
≡⁄≡ Andrew Carlson Bass
≡⁄≡ Perrin Cloutier Cello, String Arrangements, Viola
≡⁄≡ Natalie Cressman Brass Arrangement, Trombone
≡⁄≡ Daniel James Goodwin Brass Arrangement, Drums, Engineer, Mixing, Percussion, Piano, Producer, String Arrangements, String Engineer
≡⁄≡ Josh Henderson Viola, Violin
≡⁄≡ Anthony LaMarca Guitar
≡⁄≡ Joe Lambert Mastering
≡⁄≡ Jason Lawrence Drums, Percussion
≡⁄≡ Jesse Marchant Brass Arrangement, Composer, Design, Guitar, Photography, Piano, Producer, String Arrangements, Synthesizer, Vocals
Review by Marcy Donelson; Score: ***½
≡⁄≡ After two albums under his initials, JBM, Jesse Marchant returns with an eponymous 2014 release that proves the rebranding to be largely in name only. The record does, however, display a notable continuing evolution toward the more outward–projecting and electric. While fans will be relieved that he's still the raw, low–key, and wholly nonabrasive singer/songwriter they know, with drummer Jason Lawrence's presence conspicuous on most tracks Marchant delves into huskier, more rock–leaning arrangements that would bear shopping–center speaker play. His buttery voice, while perfectly suited for the intimate serenades of previous releases, holds up impressively well to the few indie rock jams here, such as "In the Sands/Amelia." Such tracks won't alienate most longtime listeners; it's a gentle shift, not a reboot. He's exhibited this more forceful character before, such as on Stray Ashes' "Only Now," he's used drums before if less vitally, and there are still earnest, hushed ballads delivered by the signature Marchant mumble. The album kicks off with "Words Underlined," consisting mostly of a repeated four–bar pattern, hypnotic and approachable, with lyrics contemplating ruined relationships and isolation. It reassures us that JBM has not been forsaken. The album then dives into electric guitar effects, drums, and grooves on "All Your Promise," establishing a dichotomy that cycles throughout between moody indie rock ("The Road Is Dark & Snowed") and folky, solemn stillness ("Snow Chicago"), in some cases within the same song. It all blends into one connected entity with shepherding by steady vocals and unwavering sincerity. Marchant has a quality to his songwriting that bridges indie rock and '70s singer/songwriters, and is still intact and even all–encompassing. While the record has a wider scope and pushes his sound in a more robust direction, his delivery, lyrics characterized by thoughtful introspection, and a maintained level of world–weary intensity make this a quintessential JBM work, trademarks that may now be referred to as "so Jesse." :: http://www.allmusic.com/
≡⁄≡ It could almost be inferred that Jesse Marchant wrote the songs for his new album over a period of months in New York City during which a lot of his world had come out from under him, in what he has described as "a general period of falling outs, absence and abuse, both of self and of what should or could have been surrounding". But in the process of finding an end to that Marchant feels to have grown. One is not left to wonder why he chose to drop the moniker of his former releases (his initials JBM) for the use of his proper full name, nor why his voice and lyrics, recorded with a mouth–to–ear intimacy, emphasizing his deepening and wearying baritone, sit loud and naked atop the widescreen backdrop of the deep synthesizer and orchestral pads and arrangements, often reminiscent of “I’m on Fire” era Springsteen. There is a sense of wanting to take responsibility and a desire to have things seen and said clearly for what they are, directly.
≡⁄≡ The production of the record reflects that same growth, balancing a new, vivid sound with matured control and rootedness. The lyrics were written later in that same year, when Marchant toured the country twice alone, on early mornings in motel rooms and for a period that he spent following, in a rented house far into the desert around 29 Palms, CA. The tone and image of this is carried throughout the record — drenched in a blinding white sunlight, in the heat, in a dream.
≡⁄≡ The songs that make up this eponymous album are menacing, dreamy worlds of their own, each one unique for each listener, instantly relatable and surprisingly therapeutic: Marchant’s revelations are infectious. He is processing internal and external problems that aren’t just personal but feel like signs of our times, and in doing so has created an album that feels particularly important, relevant, and powerful.
≡⁄≡ Starting with the ambitious 6–minute, lyrically dense album opener “Words Underlined,” Marchant quickly establishes this tone. “Where were you,” he asks, “when all of this was fucked and on it’s side?”
≡⁄≡ “I am on your side,” he sings in the very next song “All Your Promise”, with a feeling like the dilemma has been resolved. But this is not an album of resolution; it’s an album of disillusion. Even the album’s poppiest song, “The Whip”, contains a biting social commentary: “everybody likes to feel they’re holding the whip.”
≡⁄≡ But for all its philosophical, world–weary tendencies, the album is really based in themes of lost love and failed relationships. Not in a conventional sense, but in the decidedly 21st century conundrum of looking for love in the age of disconnection. ≡⁄≡ Marchant’s disillusionment is rooted in this disconnection, and ironically, it exists in opposition to his uncanny ability to articulate himself through music and, in turn, connect with listeners. But when focused on an individual, these theoretical ideas become painful realities.
≡⁄≡ Later in “The Whip” he sings, “I felt the sun…then I lost you…and I never got it back.” In “Every Eye Open,” he continues, “I’ve been living in lies too… and the secret sin that I’ve loved you for more than a little while.” And in “Stay On Your Knees,” “love was real, but the meaning was wrong.”
≡⁄≡ Whether at odds with the outside world or the world within him, the battles Marchant fights on this record are such that any intuitive, conscientious listener will relate. Perhaps the entire notion is contained in a single couplet from “Snow Chicago,” that feels at once exhausted and revelatory: “I just wanna feel at ease / And that for once I do belong.” By Dave Godowsky w/Jesse Marchant. Review, Jeff Strowe, October 23, 20134; Score: 7
≡⁄≡ With so much music released each week, it’s easy for things to fall through the cracks or get overlooked. The end of each year will continuously offer a legion of lost gems or albums of note that were great, but maybe not quite as hyped as others. A good candidate to make one of those lists at the close of 2014 is the self–titled release from Brooklyn–based singer–songwriter Jesse Marchant, released last month on the No Other imprint. Having two prior releases under his belt with the moniker JBM, Marchant employs his full name here, but stylistically he continues to build upon his warmly affecting song–craft and penchant for great melody. With Jason Lawrence’s accompaniment on drums and low–rumbling synth and orchestral arrangements whirring underneath Marchant’s baritone, this album is filled with great sounding music to get lost in, a la ‘80s era Springsteen or the similarly influenced War on Drugs.
≡⁄≡ Thematically, though, this album casts a dark shadow. Marchant is an introspective writer who takes care to examine life in all its wide–ranging forms: from the highs and triumphs of a satisfied mind to the lows of dark nights alone with the cinematically framed white lines of the open road as one’s only companion. In “The Whip”, he sings of the promise, yet ultimate struggle of escape: “I took to running/And I learned that quick/Packing your life onto a traveling stick/Ain’t a trial.” On the aptly named “Snow Chicago”, he ruminates on the struggles of the daily grind: “Waking to a snowed Chicago/Thoughts of you that fall away/Looking out across at the people/In the office cells across Lake.” It’s an honest snapshot of the frustrating nature of modern life, where mundane yet necessary details are constantly getting in the way of what really needs to be said or dealt with. By dabbling in both the personal and the universal, Marchant capably serves as a voice of the times with an air of authenticity that demands attention from the listener. It’s an honest work that will hopefully capture a little bit of that year–end attention and reach a wider audience.
≡⁄≡ Stray Ashes, 2012
≡⁄≡ Not Even in July, 2010, Partisan Records
≡⁄≡ Not Even in July, 2008, vinyl format
CD Baby: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/jessemarchant
Fort William Management: http://www.fortwilliammanagement.com/artists/jbm/
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|Jesse Marchant — Jesse Marchant|