As an Elliott Smith fan girl, it was no surprise that Jeremy Messersmith's debut album, The...
To call Jeremy Messersmith a musician is half-truth: He’s also a storyteller, who has carefully crafted a trilogy of songs that narrate life. His first full-length release The Alcatraz Kid is a moving collection of acoustic-driven lullabies with titles like “Novocain” and “Beautiful Children” that innocently question the purpose of things to come. The integrity of these delicate songs immediately struck a cord with critics and fans alike, and captured the attention of Semisonic’s Dan Wilson, who offered to produce Messersmith’s follow-up album, The Silver City.
The Silver City was a natural progression in sound and reflection: the compositions grew fuller and more dynamic with a classic-pop feel inspired by the Beach Boys and Beatles: While the topics focused on midlife struggles with tracks like “Dead End Job” and “Miracles.” Local and national attention soon followed with NPR and college stations around the country, followed by U.S. tours and sold-out shows in New York, Chicago and Minneapolis.
The Reluctant Graveyard (out May 4) bookends this trilogy of lifelong (ahem, literary) observations with songs like “Lazy Bones” and “Organ Donor,” and sonically continues on the’60 chamber pop path Messersmith set out with his sophomore release. He continues to share stages with notables such as Sondre Lechre and The Watson Twins, and has been featured on MTV and Ugly Betty. And while this collection of songs comes to an end, it’s no doubt that the stories will live on.
"The lyrics of his songs also suggest that he's a little on the glum side of things, although those dark lyrics all come supported by a musical spoonful of sugar: beautiful, catchy melodies."
-KCMP 89.3 The Current
It's hard to listen to The Silver City, the new CD from Minnesota chamber-pop artist Jeremy Messersmith, without thinking of Sufjan Stevens. Both artists have strikingly similar voices and a love of richly orchestrated story songs."
-NPR Second Stage
"Imagine Elliott Smith driving in a convertible, the wind flying through his hair, singing about sadness and somehow creating joy enough to forget his troubles for a while."
"The Silver City(Minneapolis) has maintained a reservoir of talent ever since The Replacements, and this often stunning pop gem offers further proof of its endurance as a muse and a creative center. This love song to the city recasts it as a kind of mystical wonderland, certain actual landmarks like mythic spots that inspire and bring safety and joy."
"Jeremy Messersmith has that certain je ne sais quoi. His sad lyrics/happy melody coupling isn't brand-new, but it's done in a way that conjures images of a still-upright Elliott Smith performing songs intended for Brian Wilson or A.C. Newman,not a bad spot to be in, all told."
-City Pages (Village Voice)
"Remember the way you felt the first time you heard the amazing harmonies of Simon and Garfunkel? That subdued,magical sound lives once more on Jeremy Messersmith’s The Alcatraz Kid, but this time with a 21st-century twist. Messersmith lulls with his gentle voice and overdubbed harmonies, easing the shock of his sometimes-harsh lyrics. Quirky? Certainly. Will you like it? No doubt."
"With simple chord progressions and beautifully crafted melodies, his music feels reminiscent of '60s-style, Beach Boys-influenced pop."
-NPR World Cafe