Tobias Jesso Jr.: a man, his voice, the piano

By Yasmine Shemesh

Vancouver singer-songwriter Tobias Jesso Jr. creates softhearted ballads that sound like having sweet nothings whispered into your ear. 

There is something thing to be said about sentimental romance: it exudes through the fingertips of Jesso. The sensitive pianist has had hearts and ears aflutter with just two beautiful demos floating around on the internet. His voice needs no outside accompaniment to his keyboard—stripped down and bare, his breathy croon and nimble notes exude a simple vulnerability that is both compelling and mesmerizing.

Jesso’s first release, “Just a Dream,” is a tender, subtle offering that declares his adoration for a mother and her daughter. His voice is wistful and his sincerity, palpable, introducing him to the world as John Lennon acolyte with an idiosyncratic quality. We get to know Jesso better (but ever so slightly) with “True Love,” a track that balances delicate passages alongside rich, nostalgic sonority and depicts the musician with fragile intensity. Lyrics like “He ain’t cheap, he just can’t afford to / But she don’t mind, he’s her everything” is a sweet reminder that love affairs still exist in this twenty-first-century world.

Earlier this month, Jesso announced that he’ll release his first full set of songs as a flexi-disc 7″ series bundle titled 5 for 5. For $5, you’ll get five discs, a new one arriving every three to four weeks, each holding a track not available anywhere digitally. Similar to his existing catalogue, the cuts are piano ballads and recorded at his home. Order yours quickly—the elusive set is limited to 300 copies.

5 for 5 is available on True Panther Sounds.

Published online at www.vancitybuzz.com, August 2014

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