Music Music of the Week

Tobias Jesso Jr. – How Could You Babe

Wake up with a hangover? Well, pour yourself some coffee, crack open something greasy and come nuzzle into the sweet sounds of the new single from Tobias Jesso Jr.

“You need to write a music of the week – it’s Sunday”, I just got told from my fellow editors at this fine publication. “Can I write something on Toploader – Dancing In The Moonlight?”. The silence is most definitely a “no”.

So, I overthink it immediately. What have I listened to this week other than awful hits from the 90’s? Not much, if I’m totally honest. Then it hits me, Tobias Jesso Jr.! He’s been lurking around, with a hyped album around the bend for some time now. In fact, long enough that none of it feels new.

One track from Jesso Jr.’s new record Goon (great name for an album – if you didn’t play goon of fortune last night), and I’m re-listening to everything that’s ever been uploaded to Youtube with his name on it, including the Hungry Jack’s ads that take up the first 15 seconds of every song.

Jesso Jr. suffered what is now a mythical, crushing and movie-worthy experience as a failed songwriter in Hollywood a number of years ago. After moving from Vancouver, Canada to LA, his mother came down with cancer, his bike was stolen and he was badly injured in a hit-and-run incident. Needless to say, after being properly beaten by the city of washed-out celebs, he moved back to Canada and hid away for a while.

It wasn’t for nothing though, as he came back better than ever. Switching from guitar to piano, recording a number of demo’s which he emailed to famous producers back in LA who took notice and just generally writing incredible songs, it’s all on the up and up now for the Canadian songwriter.

Jesso Jr.’s debut release is simultaneously very reminiscent of the 70’s, the great era of piano ballads, without being derivative. Chunky chords, driving choruses and minimalistic production all collide to create a record that centres around nothing more than a man, his piano and the songs he’s penned.

It’s becoming a bit of a trend of late (just have a good music search), but Jesso Jr. and Goon doesn’t sound like someone trying to remodel Rocket Man, like many of his peers. This is more than just a 29 year old guy singing songs about women he’s loved, this is man who’s experienced life, the highest highs and seemingly lowest lows, and has journalled it, recorded it and shared it with you.

Perfect Sunday morning vibes right here.



Words By: Matt Steyn