Jeremy Messersmith — The Trilogy of Life
By Paul on July 11th, 2011 in Album Review, Band Review, Interview
It sometimes seems like every band has an album about death. It’s almost a requirement before you get your indie badge, but it’s often tough to wade through that gloomy death sea and find a song you really love to death. It takes a unique approach, something that goes beyond the standard death album, to really catch hold in a memorable way. This is why Starfucker had such an amazing album in Reptilians. Similarly, Jeremy Messersmith‘s new album — The Reluctant Graveyard — is an album that just won’t die. And that’s a good thing.
The album came about as a natural progression of Jeremy’s music. He has two older albums, The Alcatraz Kid and The Silver City, and each of the three albums is about a particular stage of life. The Alcatraz Kid is all about growing up. Continuing to the Silver City, Jeremy talks about joining the adult world with adult rules and responsibilities. Finally, we reach Jeremy’s current album, The Reluctant Graveyard. If you look at the progression, you are born, you grow up, you get a job, and then what? You get old and eventually die. It’s a very sad thought, but it is the natural end to a trilogy of albums all about life.
The first song, Lazy Bones, actually seems to be more of an extension of the Silver City. It helps to segue the listener into the new album smoothly, as well as introduce a completely new style of songwriting that will span through the whole album. It is more of a throwback to early Beatles, Beach Boys, and the like. The other two albums just didn’t have that feel to them, nor were they supposed to. Perhaps it helps the album to feel just a little bit older and more mature?
The Reluctant Graveyard stays exciting with Dillinger Eyes, a song about determinism, of all things. This idea pops up again with the song John the Determinist (obviously), and it may be in other songs as well. After Dillinger Eyes, the album really starts to settle down into its much sadder feel. By the time you get to Deathbed Salesman (surprisingly based on a skit by Jerry Seinfeld), you will have realized that this is a really sad album. But, there is a real beauty to the sadness, especially in Deathbed Salesman, and it is this beauty, the wonder of life, that you should really pay attention to. In death, there is a sad homage to life that Jeremy captures perfectly.
Please enjoy our audio interview with Jeremy below, along with the videos from the live show. Then, go get his albums. All three of them. Jeremy lets you pay whatever you want (including nothing) for them, so there’s no reason not to. But please consider paying a few bucks, because an artist this talented deserves it.