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Last year, Jesse Marchant released his enthralling, self-titled album that ranked right up there with some great records released by more well-known singer-songwriters, such as Mark Kozelek (a.k.a. Sun Kil Moon), Damien Jurado, and Timothy Showalter (a.k.a. Strand of Oaks). It was an album that bowled us over, and it was one of our Favorite 50 Albums of 2014 (and so were the albums by the aforementioned artists).
On Monday, the Montreal artist released two “B-side” singles from Jesse Marchant, and both retain the stunning and captivating indie-folk-rock from the album. While Marchant has a penchant for keeping his songs relatively even keel (i.e., not going overboard on the drama), he still has a knack for creating a dramatic and cinematic soundscape. This is the case with “Light Forms”, a breathtaking and beautiful number that dances with images of a lone individual walking in a deserted, lonely place.
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The second B-side is “7 & The Fall”. With the slight stirring of strings in the background and Marchant’s aching voice, the song starts off quietly to reflect the pain of the protagonist. It then builds into a climatic ending. The song is Marchant at his loudest and most dramatic yet never reaching the boiling point. Instead, he pulls it all back suddenly, like a ball ricocheting off the ground.
What the two songs also once again reveal Marchant’s incomparable storytelling. He is able to take the most painful memories and experiences of an individual and tell them in a way that is captivates the mind and the imagination. From his words to the hallow strums of the acoustic guitar to the tinges of the strings in the background, the hurt, the emotion, the pain can be heard throughout each of his songs, even on the B-sides.
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