Album review

Jerry Messersmith 

Heart Murmurs

added: 28 May 2014 // release date: 12 May 2014 // label: Glassnote
reviewer: David Spencer

Jerry Messersmith - Heart Murmurs - Printable version
As the album title suggests, this is a collection of songs about love and relationships, something Jeremy Messersmith is unapologetic for, saying he enjoys writing about the heart. New to UK audiences, he has established a following in the United States, based on a sound (and look it has to be said) similar to that of fellow Minneapolis songwriter Dan Wilson, formally of Semisonic.

In fact, Wilson is somewhat of a mentor for Messersmith, and the influence is clear on tracks like Tourniquet and Heidi. But Messersmith has a more delicate and tuneful vocal - and it makes his music more accessible. The terrific Ghost is about his parents' hometown of Omaha and a lost love. It builds from an acoustic start to a catchy hook laden classic and is one of the year's best songs.

The more sedate Bridges describes an awkward rejection - with the brilliant pay off "Your easy smile unfolded when you took my hand, somehow a perfect moment, never felt so bad". It's Only Dancing and Steve (surely the first ever song using that name) have elements of Ben Folds, while there is a hint of Don McLean's Vincent on Hitman before it explodes into a fuzz of guitar.

Messersmith is on his first ever European tour and spoke to Music News about his album, songwriting and his mentor Dan Wilson:

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4 stars

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