Jesse Marchant isn’t new to this blog, though he was known as JBM when I first came upon him, back in 2010. He’s now going by his full name (probably a good call), and has a tour and new album coming up. His self-titled album is due out September 9 (No Other), and it can be preordered on iTunes. The vinyl version can be preordered from Insound.
A quick catching up is in order. Originally from Montreal, in the past few years Jesse’s lived in Brooklyn, for a while in Los Angeles, and then in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. When I last wrote about him, he had just released his Not Even in July album, on Partisan Records. That album was recorded in 2008 in a church studio in Hudson, New York, and it was a quiet, introspective masterpiece. In live performance I found him to be warm, engaging and deeply personal. It was a far cry from your usual “rock acts,” and he was one of the small handful of artists who rekindled my love of singer songwriters presenting their compositions simply and starkly with acoustic guitar and vocals. He released Stray Ashes in 2012, and has toured with such artists as Nathaniel Rateliff, Sondre Lerche, Avi Buffalo, Rogue Wave, St. Vincent, Elvis Perkins and The Tallest Man on Earth.
His recent biography speaks of a difficult period of time while living in Brooklyn, New York, and subsequent travel across the U.S., ending up in the desert near 29 Palms, California, as apt a place for quiet reflection if there ever was one. What came out of those times is this new album, which has an introspective sadness and a mournful quality about it. Isn’t simple teenage angst, but rather a view from afar with hard-earned maturity. Ok, maybe there’s a little angst in there, but when it is, it’s existential angst, the serious stuff, and not youthful passing fancy. Mostly this very personal album is bathed in quiet beauty, thoughtfulness and humility. His vocals? Like thickly poured honey over acoustic guitar and meandering piano, with synthesizers and orchestration simmering gently in the background. Quite lovely. Personal favorites: Reminders, Defeats; In The Sand/Amelia; The Road Is Dark and Snowed; Stay On Your Knees.
“I just wanna feel at ease / And that for once I do belong.” – Snow Chicago
East Coast Tour Dates
8/20 Cambridge, MA (w/ Bishop Allen) at The Middle East
8/21 Brooklyn, NY (w/ Bishop Allen) at Glasslands Gallery
8/22 Philadelphia, PA (w/ Bishop Allen) at Johnny Brenda’s
8/23 Washington, D.C. (w/ Bishop Allen) at Black Cat
9/24 Brooklyn, NY (w/ Milagres) at Rough Trade
He’ll also be in the South, Texas and the Midwest. See the complete tour schedule.