Jesse Terry – Natural
Jackson Beach Records – 30 March 2018
Connecticut singer-songwriter Jesse Terry clearly has an impressive contacts list, Natural is his fifth album, being a collection of duets with his favourite female singers, three being new versions of tracks from the previous Stargazer.
He has a soft, breathy vocal style that variously calls to mind Paul Simon, Justin Rutledge and Paul McCartney, his music is generally relaxed and smooth, full of hummable melodies and hooks. Case in point is the first of the reworks, the dreamy, lilting strum of Kaleidoscope (originally a rousing rocker) which, featuring ukulele and upright bass, features harmonies from Sarah Darling. Cary Ann Hearst from Shovels & Rope is next up with another revisitation, the midtempo strummed catchiness of Runaway Town. Hearst also features later in the album on the slow swaying la-la-la-ing Mountain Rose, a sweetly drifting melody for a lyric about two wounded souls finding solace together.
Nashville-based singer-songwriter Liz Longley also features on two numbers, the penultimate simple acoustic lullaby Close My Eyes that sees Terry’s voice floating into higher notes, and the album’s sole cover, a summery lazing treatment of ELO’s Mr Blue Sky stripped of all the Lynne adornments to expose the tender wistfulness at its heart.
Terry’s fellow Boston’s Berklee College of Music alumni, Annie Clements joins him for the Simonesque Looking Close Enough while much touted rising star Erin Rae follows on with the romantic reverie Beautiful Way To Get Home featuring Larissa Maestro on cello.
Kim Richey gets a brace of appearances, Carry, an acoustic love song about having someone to lean on when you get caught in the undertow, and, sharing that sense of serenity and supportive relationship, I Was An Island, written on Inisheer, one of the remote Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland in Galway Bay.
The final two numbers both feature one of his early influences and, perhaps the best known name, Dar Williams. Sung as a duet, Noise is gently tumbling folksy offering reminiscent of Simon and Garfunkel while the other is the rework of Stargazer itself, acoustic guitar replacing the original’s strings arrangement, and a song that suggests that, at some point in his life, Terry has maybe listened closely to Radiohead’s No Surprises.
As soothing as a soaking in a warm bath with a glass of white wine by your side, it’s a natural remedy to ease away the stress at the end of the day.
Jesse Terry UK Tour Dates
17 – Liverpool, Studio 2
18 – Cheltenham, Chapel Arts Centre
19 – Lincoln, Drill Hall
21 – Brighton, Unitarian Church
22 – York, The Basement
23 – Glasgow, Oran Mor
25 – Gateshead, The Sage
26 – London, Bush Hall
Order it here: http://smarturl.it/JesseNatural