Last night hipsters from various Los Scandalous area-codes hightailed it to The Mint to watch singer/songrwriter Jeremy Messersmith grace the joint with folk-pop akin to Death Cab For Cutie, Sufjan Stevens, and embellished with just enough 1960’s retro-pop to actually introduce a new sound to those that thought they had heard it all.
It’s evident that the artist took cue from several 1960s supergroups and sprinkled their ashes and essence throughout the eleven tracks on his latest CD The Reluctant Graveyard. The likes of The Zombies, The Beach Boys, and Simon & Garfunkle have all been resurrected to ensure maximum retro-originality for today’s listener looking to add a little yesteryear to today’s playlist.
Messersmith handled his acoustic set with an ease and grace that made it virtually impossible to notice that three other band members were missing in action onstage. He was able to orchestrate each instrument so naturally that the harmonica (yeah- harmonica) and guitar became an extension of himself, leaving the audience completely entranced and held captive by tracks interspersed with the originality of today and the haunting ghosts of music past. Messersmith’s ability to unearth sounds we’d thought we’d left six feet under was impressive in its understated but eloquent simplicity- and to an audience that counts converse as couture, less is clearly more.
This collection of dark and somber songs is set to tunes as charming as they are disarming, and had the live audience not been hanging on every word the lyrics to his lullabies noir would go almost unrecognized under the guise of sweet and soothing. The unavoidably relatable lyrics reek of unrequited love, and an insatiable lust for something that can successfully stop a heart, instead of just being able to break it.
This will be Messersmith’s third CD following his The Silver City and The Alcatraz Kid and third time’s most certainly a charm. His set was equally comprised of songs from all three of his extensive song collection, but the songs off the most recent CD had the audience the most obviously mesmerized. Though “Violet” is the CD’s self-proclaimed single, the songs to really watch for are “Organ Donor,” and “A Girl, A Boy and a Graveyard;” both of which serving as prime examples of Messersmith’s ability to fuse old school classics with originality worthy of a new millennium.
Definitely worth checking out, Messersmith had the entire hipster-chic audience listening intently to songs of mishaps and inevitable missteps taken along the road to enlightenment and what gaining another 365 days does to you every year. Safe to say that The Reluctant Graveyard is the soundtrack to our lives- turn it up when GPS-ing your way through the quarter-life crisis era. And, if you can’t avoid the various speed bumps, at least Messersmith will have you resting in peace.
Check out WWW.MYSPACE.COM/JEREMYMESSERSMITH for upcoming tour dates.
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