The term “chameleon” has often been applied to describing an artist who seamlessly moves between genres. This descriptor, though, doesn’t do Jesse Mac Cormack justice. The Montreal native is more like a master chef. Instead of fine herbs, fresh produce, and free-range products, Mac Cormack’s ingredients are indie rock, funk, soul, folk, and pop. His delectable concoctions are served on his brilliant new EP, After the Glow.
Each of the five songs are imaginative, yet they are immensely accessible and immersive. The title track is the opening course, offering us a soothing entry into Mac Cormack’s menu. Layered with dark folk and cinematic indie, the song is a breathtaking journey into one’s soul. Like a great a first course, it leaves you desiring for more.
“Addict” offers a bone-jarring dish that wakes up your auditory palette. The first bite is alluring, as the slow, blues grooves have you noodling your head. But with each bite, your senses awaken as the song intensifies with the guitars, drums, bass, and keys colliding in unison. The building drama of the song is terrific to complement Mac Cormack’s story of a person falling once again on hard times.
The main course is the incomparable “Repeat”. The stuttering drumming at intro sets the stage, and then the guitars, bass, and keys kick in. As the song intensifies, the track feels like organized chaos at first, but the experience is exhilarating. Blues and R&B textures flutter in underneath the gritty indie-rock vibe. This collision of sound, however, takes a backseat to Mac Cormack’s urgent vocals, as he sings about living a nightmare over and over again. The track, though, is anything but that; it is absolute gold.
The fourth course is “Never Enough”, which might be the most complex song on the EP. The track fuses together ’80s rock, new wave, and funk to form a groovy, shimmering number. It’s the perfect course after a full-body course – one that gets the blood and adrenaline flowing and helping you get ready for the final offering. And that is the stripped down, intimate “Death Row”. A mix of classic folk and laid-back southern rock, Mac Cormack has crafted a goodbye song like no other. The song isn’t a sweet finish. It is, however, a memorable one, where the haunting lyrics and instrumentation will linger long after the final note. When it is all done, there is nothing else to do but stand up and applaud Jesse Mac Cormack, who has given us a five-star experience that won’t be forgotten anytime soon.
After the Glow drops this Friday, September 16th via Secret City Records.
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