I first decided to take a listen to Jesse Harris when my little brother recommended him to me recently. After several years of my brother being heavily into Japanese pop and questionable Final Fantasy music (the game, not the band), I’m finding lately that our tastes are becoming more in-line. Plus I love him, so I try and move his suggestions to the top of the long “to listen” list. On this one, Brian — definitely a good call.
Jesse Harris is from New York City, and is probably most famous these days for being the guy who wrote much of the ubiquitous, breathy Norah Jones album Come Away With Me, and won a whole boatload of Grammy Awards (the year I was there, actually). Feel is his newest album in a string of seven, coming out July 10th on Velour Recordings.
And what an album it is – luminous, fresh, and full of interesting percussion (which is the first thing I noticed). I hear tones of everything from clean Beatles pop, to Graceland-era Paul Simon, tones of the gentle banjo-plucking of Sufjan, to even hints of my beloved David Gray. I think this is a great songwriter album, catchy and nuanced, and it’s getting repeated spins in my car this summer. I highly recommend this one, and I love how the album art looks the way the music feels.
Feel – Jesse Harris
After All – Jesse Harris
In equally excellent news, Jesse Harris is also the man behind the entire soundtrack for Ethan Hawke’s new film The Hottest State. Jesse wrote all the songs in a continuous suite, which are then sung both by him and also artists such as The Black Keys, Bright Eyes, Willie Nelson, Cat Power, M. Ward, Emmylou Harris, and Feist. That anticipated soundtrack will be out August 7th on Hickory Records.
Somewhere Down The Road – Feist
Crooked Lines – M. Ward
Jesse Harris: tour dates & more tunes here