'You and Me,' Baring Jesse Harris' Soul
Best known for the songs he's written for others, Jesse Harris first found success with his contributions to Norah Jones' debut album, Come Away with Me. But while he earned a Grammy for his work on the single "Don't Know Why," the singer, songwriter and guitarist has also built a reputation as a staple of New York's East Village music scene. Between playing with his group The Ferdinandos and writing film scores, Harris sways casually between modern Americana and jazz-informed folk-pop in his solo material.
The new Feel sticks to a single laid-back tempo, driven by Harris' lazy, loose-stringed strum and softly sung vocals. Yet his strengths lie in his songcraft. From the rhythmic, marimba-driven "Walk On" to the slow swing of "The Wind," Harris' songs demonstrate a devotion to concise melodies and song forms that leave little to waste.
Poppier than his usual sound, the country-tinged coffeehouse waltz "You And Me" follows a similar formula. Harris' wistful croon sounds restrained and even pensive, yet the soul-baring mood fits with the straightforward atmosphere. Though it's built around little more than a stripped-down guitar, bass, drums and violin, the sound seems fully realized. Harris' voice touches upon a Paul Simon-like timbre, adding a simple but singable melody well suited for introspection.
Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'
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