12 O'Clock Track(s): The crumbling, spacious beauty of Tobias Jesso Jr. | Bleader

12 O'Clock Track(s): The crumbling, spacious beauty of Tobias Jesso Jr.

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The cover currently circulating for Tobias Jesso Jr.s demos
  • The cover currently circulating for Tobias Jesso Jr.'s demos

I'm usually skeptical of nascent artists hyped by major music publications, but I quickly succumbed to the demos of Vancouver singer-songwriter Tobias Jesso Jr. "True Love," a spectral, bewitching, recently released ballad featuring little more than a piano and Jesso Jr.'s childlike voice, was bestowed with a "Best New Track" designation by Pitchfork last week. But I prefer "Just a Dream," which appeared on YouTube around this time last year. Either a song about fatherhood or a song about the dream of fatherhood, "Just a Dream" has a melodic progression that recalls John Lennon or Harry Nilsson—but it's not baldly imitative of either artist. Yet like Lennon and Nilsson's most confessional work, the song makes excellent use of space as a means of conveying poignancy and self-reflection. An auspicious recording, I'm looking forward to hearing what comes next. For now, listen to what currently exists below.

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