Jesse Maranger is an independent singer/songwriter based in Waterloo, Ontario who released his debut album So I Love You as You Are back in 2014. Last week, on October 27th, Jesse released his second masterpiece, DREAMIST. This album is all about clean slates and fresh starts.
The first song is Song of the Singer and it is a beautiful opening track. The sounds of nature and the slow guitar chords lullaby you into a peaceful state of mind while Jesse’s vocals seduces you. This 6 minutes piece is bound to capture your attention and provide shelter to your soul.
The Cardinal is more fast paced, reminiscing a bit of Ben Howard. Our love is right when all is wrong (…) Our love is stronger. Folk fueled tune is a heart filling song that won’t get out of your head, let us tell you that.
Then I Saw The Sky is a great sequel to the previous track as it maintains the pace elevated. With a guitar that we could attribute to The National’s I Need My Girl intro, Then I Saw The Sky became instantly a favourite of ours. The lyrics talk of the sun on his face and how it allows to move on past mistakes and stay away from the darkness. We love it! So happy, so cheering, so positive.
Next thing you know, you’re halfway through DREAMIST and listening to Cincinnati. This tune brings back the calm we found in the first song. A slow guitar driven track that makes you stop, listen and think. Powerful.
Mary Lake is up and you go back to summer times, wind blowing in your hair and water running through your fingers. The vocals are a bit distorted and the song is guitar driven, much like what you’d find in those Sufjan Stevens classins.
Third to last is the inspiring They Can’t Tell You Who You Are and this one is quite special. This track features Bob Egan (Blue Rodeo, Wilco) on the pedal steel guitar. “I ran into Bob about six months ago when I was working on the album and he said he would love to play on it. I chuckled … Yeah right… Bob Egan wants to play on my album. He said ‘No, honestly. Send me an email. I would love to play on one of the tracks.’ I told him I would do that and luckily enough I was partway through writing They Can’t Tell You Who You Are so I was able to really leave some space in that song to let Bob do his thing“. It payed off, we say. Quality track with inspiring lyrics too.
Pines comes next and re-uses that distorted vocal we heard a couple of times in DREAMIST. It has some vibes of Alex Vargas in live sessions due to all the rawness and honesty one can feel. This is also a song which sounds more dramatic than the rest. And the almost a-capella sounds so good.
Closing the album we have Ember Years. This is a song that takes on acoustic folk vibes and deals with heart issues. Ember Years is best consumed under a blanket, with a fire going and some hot cocoa (perhaps tea?). It’s the perfect closing track, one that makes us feel as though this story has reached an end as makes us long for the next chapter.
Beautiful job, Jesse. We are going to indulge in DREAMIST now.
Make sure to follow Jesse Maranger on his socials: