Jesse Terry | Natural

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Natural

by Jesse Terry

“Beautifully crafted songs from a master singer songwriter. A joy to play on my radio show with great reaction from listeners. Jesse deserves to be up there with the likes of James Taylor & Jackson Browne” - Paddy MacDee - BBC Radio Newcastle
Genre: Folk: Modern Folk
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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Kaleidoscope (feat. Sarah Darling)
4:26 $0.99
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2. Runaway Town (feat. Cary Ann Hearst)
3:56 $0.99
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3. Mr. Blue Sky (feat. Liz Longley)
3:58 FREE
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4. Stargazer (feat. Dar Williams)
4:00 $0.99
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5. Looking Close Enough (feat. Annie Clements)
3:24 $0.99
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6. Beautiful Way to Get Home (feat. Erin Rae)
4:01 $0.99
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7. Carry (feat. Kim Richey)
3:41 $0.99
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8. I Was an Island (feat. Kim Richey)
3:37 $0.99
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9. Noise (feat. Dar Williams)
3:54 $0.99
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10. Mountain Rose (feat. Cary Ann Hearst)
4:19 $0.99
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11. Close My Eyes (feat. Liz Longley)
4:10 $0.99
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12. Natural
3:44 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
"Stephen Hawking is not the only one asking for more from their universe – and this savvy pop genius may have just given birth to the perfect soundtrack to help us find our way… bottomless potential.”

- Eric Thom - Blurt Magazine

"Jesse Terry is a gentle soul with a formidable songwriting talent and a clear artistic vision."

- John Platt - WFUV - NYC

"Yes, the spectre of Brummie pop genius Jeff Lynne looms large over New England based songwriter Terry's 4th album, and is a welcome influence on a collection of songs that will inevitably be seen in time as 'the one' that propelled Jesse Terry into the 'big league'.

There is a vast, sprawling musical landscape that is encompassed by his writing, and it's a landscape that is breathtaking in its vision and execution. There aren't half measures here, every song is an opus, and although Jesse will take you from the pop perfection of "Woken The Wildflowers" to the skiffle-billy sensibility of "Dance In Our Old Shoes" in the beat of a musical heart, each song is inextricably linked by a latent quality that is plain for all to hear.

It's clear from the opening soaring orchestration of title track "Stargazer" that this album is the piece of work that he's been building patiently towards thus far in his career. Channeling the Lynne / Orbison axis, the warm production and easy sway of the lush instrumentation sets the bar high right from the get-go, and to his eternal credit the great songs just keep-on-coming back to back!

This is an album to be treasured, and is an enlightening reminder of times gone by, when albums were chock full of sparkling, inspirational songs that would just stay in your head for days on end. "Stargazer" is a triumph from start to finish, and Jesse Terry can be rightfully proud of an album that should, if there is any justice, be sitting in any "Top 10 Album Of 2017" lists that you care to mention."

- Ken Brown - Fatea Magazine & Square Roots Promotion

“Beautifully crafted songs from a master singer songwriter. A joy to play on my radio show with great reaction from listeners. Jesse deserves to be up there with the likes of James Taylor & Jackson Browne”

- Paddy MacDee - BBC Radio Newcastle

"... Conjured in collaboration with Josh Kaler and a string quartet at Nashville's EastSide Manor Studios, it soars and resonates, lush and dripping with strings and steel, filmic and nostalgic... 'Stargazer', nigh perfect, sweeps you in and on first hearing overwhelms... this is music to revel in, so just revel till the starlight fades."

✭✭✭✭

- Nick West - RnR Magazine

Classic and totally classy modern pop, arranged to absolute perfection. Lots of folks are having extremely positive reactions to Jesse Terry's music. Give Stargazer a single spin and find out why. Terry's songs exist somewhere in that universe where Electric Light Orchestra meets Harry Nilsson. He's got a velvetty smooth voice and his songs feature impeccably great arrangements. The harmony and backing vocals on this album are...truly mindblowing. This is the fourth full-length release from Terry, but it serves as an introduction for us. Rarely do we hear any artist of this caliber from the past or present. This music is so good that it gives us chills. Jesse's songs are pure pop perfection. This is one of those cases where everything fits together seamlessly. Great songs, arrangements that support the melodies, killer vocals...and an overall vibe that is impossible to ignore. If you wanna get in on the ground floor of something big before everyone else starts raving about it, get your hands on this album. Stargazer is an instant twenty-first century classic. The songs are timeless, precise, and genuine. Perfect pop masterpieces include the title track, "Dangerous Times," "Stay Low," "Runaway Town," and "Dear Amsterdam." Highly recommended. TOP PICK

- Baby Sue

"...On his new album Stargazer he comes across as a true pop auteur, with a ringing voice and upbeat attitude that would likely find Paul McCartney himself offering a major thumbs up... Winsome and resilient, these melodies take an upward glance, a sure anecdote for the troubles and turmoil that plague the world so relentlessly these days. It’s easy to imagine Terry purveying this music in public and inspiring a horde of dancing, fist-pumping fans all joining in on the celebratory stance. Indeed, these songs would find an equally appropriate fit on both the radio and in the arena. Whether crafting beautiful ballads or more upbeat entires, Terry proves himself a master at conveying pure poignancy and serendipity."

- Lee Zimmerman - Goldmine Magazine

"Simply beautiful songwriting. Terry has struck many chords - vocals, melodies, lyrics, harmonies. Tender, boldly emotional, gentle, powerful. Grammy worthy."

✭✭✭✭

- Tim Sanborn - Homefront Music

"Those who first saw James Taylor in the Nantucket Coffeehouses still speak of instantly knowing they were in the presence of greatness. Those who rocked to Springsteen on the Jersey Shore knew he would soon be known to the world. Those who were mesmerized by a young Billy Joel in Long Island bars and pubs knew they saw a future Music Hall of Famer. That same recognition of having been on the ground floor prior to a meteoric rise to the top was shared by those who attended Jesse Terry in concert at the Katherine Hepburn Performing Arts Center in Old Saybrook on August 13th.

Jesse Terry not only owned the stage, but he owned the hearts of the roughly 200 people fortunate enough to attend the evening. Not all got to speak to him in person, but each and every one left the evening having become his friend as well as his lifetime fan. Unique to the great talents of the world, is the fact that they cannot be compared to each other. Jesse Terry is Jesse Terry – a voice, a presence, a personality, and a talent unto himself... It takes no courage for us to say, Jesse Terry, here’s to a decades long relationship – the sky is the limit!"

- Alexis Ann - The Resident

'Stargazer', Jesse Terry's fourth album, has a clear message... look at the stars and discover your place in the universe. Terry's influences are hard to channel. Sometimes you think of The Beatles, John Lennon, Jeff Lynne and even the beat groups who performed the hit parades in the sixties... Jesse Terry delivers a positive album with 'Stargazer', which is a bright spot in today's dark world.

- Lambert Smits - 'Keys And Chords'

"Having Jesse Terry guest on Music Routes was an absolute pleasure. The guy is a breath of fresh air – not just for his songs, but for his personality, too. He works a mike in the studio in the same way he connects with an audience at a gig, with effortless charm.

It says a lot for his abilities that the songs from his latest album, Stargazer, work on a purely acoustic level, and take on a new life. On the album, he uses arrangements that make me think he must have listened to ELO era Jeff Lynne for inspiration, and this works really well, but the strength of the songs shines through when he stands on a stage, just voice and guitar, with only – the admittedly impressive - backup from Alan Fish."

- Jim Welsh - Music Routes/Radio Summerhall - Edinburgh, UK

“I have been a fan of Jesse Terry since the first time I heard him. He's a humble - and humbling - talent.”

- Tony Arata - Singer/Songwriter & 2012 Inductee of Songwriters Hall of Fame

"...astonishing how much dedication and opulence Terry brings out in his pleasantly tempered folk pop and powerpop songs with choirs, string quartets, guitar riffs, cool hooklines, effects and keyboard sounds... Brian Wilson to Ron Sexsmith or Squeeze to the Beatles - as inspirational sources. Terry definitely sees the half-full and not the more semi-transparent glass and packs it into opulent, organic and finally miraculous musical sound clouds."

- Ullrich Maurer - Gaesteliste

"...it's the kind of album that no one makes anymore. And that's just so wrong to me. It's one of those albums that uses The Beatles as the blueprint but then expands from there. So it has a very Lennon and McCartney kind of feel to it, but there are also some other notable influences here as well."

- David Medsker - Popdose

"Jesse Terry delivers something special with the lush "Stargazer"... Singer-songwriter Jesse Terry delivers a personal, honest, and lushly orchestrated album with his fourth full-length album... Infused with the warmth of a beautifully arranged string quartet, “Stargazer” brings a sense of hope that Terry carries within himself.

- Tara Joan - The Daily Country

"As a young artist, Terry would fit right in with the songwriters of the 1960s and ’70s. Listening to his music, it’s easy to imagine hearing his songs on the radio in between cuts by Bob Dylan, James Taylor, Jackson Browne and Joni Mitchell."

- Jay Smith - Pollstar.com

Jesse Terry Bio

A true musical journeyman, Jesse Terry has made it his mission to share his love of music fully and completely, without regard for shading his emotions or tempering his convictions. By his own definition, he’s never been a cautious individual, but rather one who finds inspiration and optimism in the solace and joy making music brings him; and that which he can impart to others. In that regard, his artistic quest has become satisfying and self-fulfilling.

“Things happen for me at the right place and time when I’m focusing on my art and connecting with people,” Jesse suggests. “I’ve always had the desire to spread peace and unity through my music. This gives me a tangible purpose, even when life doesn’t seem to make much sense.”

That ability to create a connection, to bare his soul and express his emotions through his songs have been the defining thread in a career that’s spawned five albums (The Runner, Stay Here With Me, Empty Seat on a Plane, and his latest pair, Stargazer and Natural) as well as an EP (The Calm and the Storm) as part of a career that began in 2010. It’s evolved and expanded ever since, thanks to a tour schedule that’s found him playing over 1,000 shows in the past ten years and taken him across the country and to points well beyond – The UK, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Greenland, and New Zealand included. It’s given him a fresh perspective on the world and additional insights into its common humanity, sentiments and a sensibility that continues to impact his music.

“It’s about inclusiveness,” Jesse insists. “I love that music can bring all kinds of people together. I feel so lucky to be making music for a living. I don’t mind the long drives and the long hours, because that’s all part of the journey. And once you stop loving it, you stop living it.”

Indeed, that’s at the core of his convictions. “So much of my music is about expressing the joy of the journey and finding strength and resiliency to battle through the difficult times,” he muses. “Touring the world has given me a very different perspective. We’re all part of a global family.”

He’s made that message clear on each of his albums, but never more so than of the two he recorded simultaneously in 2017. Stargazer, released this past September, was a defining record in Jesse’s career, unencumbered by the need to fit into a specific genre while emulating instead the artists and recordings that formed such an indelible impression on him as he was finding his own way early on. Recorded with producer and multi-instrumentalist Josh Kaler, it’s an aural spectacle of sorts, filled with rich arrangements and a genuine sense of celebration. It was met with a wealth of critical acclaim, many of which summed up his strengths conclusively.
“As you wake up singing these hooks over and over to yourself because you just can’t get them out of your head, you’ll soon appreciate the full value of Stargazer,” Blurt declared. “It’s just that good.”

“Jesse Terry delivers something special with the lush Stargazer... a personal, honest and lushly orchestrated album,” Tara Joan wrote in The Daily Country. “Infused with the warmth of a beautifully arranged string quartet, Stargazer brings a sense of hope that Terry carries within himself.”

“This is an album to be treasured,” the British publication Fatea noted. “Stargazer is a triumph from start to finish, and Jesse Terry can be rightfully proud of an album that should, if there is any justice, be sitting in the Top 10 Albums of 2017 lists that you care to mention.”

The second album and latest release to emerge from those sessions, the aptly titled Natural, finds Jesse relying on a more organic approach to his music. It was, he explains, intended to be a very simple affair, merely vocals, acoustic guitar and piano, although it soon took on a life of its own. “We held tight to the concept of a very sparse and acoustic album, but after entering the studio we let the songs lead the way, and abandoned most boundaries,” he reflects. “Josh and I were totally consumed with the project and recorded it in two straight weeks. Most days in the studio lasted at least fourteen hours, and I loved every second of it.”

The idea of releasing two albums back to back soon became a plausible reality. With the support of more than 500 people who donated to a PledgeMusic campaign, he managed to find the resources and the resolve to bring the new album to fruition, despite a busy tour schedule. “I’ve realized that I’m not really an ‘independent’ artist at all,” he reckons. “My career and music are mostly supported by a loyal fan base that I have around the world. This allows me the freedom to follow my dreams, like recording two albums in one year! And because I don’t have a record label or anyone else to answer to, I can do exactly what I want to do.”

What Jesse decided to do with Natural was to make an album that featured some of the female singers he most admired, among them Dar Williams, Cary Ann Hearst of Shovels & Rope, Liz Longley, Annie Clements, Erin Rae, Sarah Darling, and Kim Richey. Some were friends, others were people he or his producer had worked with before: Williams was an early influence, and Annie Clements attended Boston’s Berklee College of Music with Jesse. Sarah Darling had recorded one of his songs for her own albums.

Having all these women come together for the record was an extraordinary accomplishment. Each has a distinguished career that has brought them consistent kudos in the music community, from critics and the public alike. The talent that they brought to the project helped propel the album to another realm, creating an additional layer of emotional impact.

Ultimately then, the relationship between the two singers, the male and female -- the contrast in emotion, tone and texture -- became the focus of the album. “We stayed true to the original concept of a stripped down record, but expanded on the original idea to allow for more creativity with the production and instrumentation,” Jesse recalls. “Nothing was off limits. The album is still based around the power of a song, stripped down to one guitar. We felt like the best path with production was to support the vocals and the emotion of the song...and then get out of the way.”

On the strength of the material, it’s not surprising to find that three of the songs on Natural also appear on Stargazer. The most striking difference between the two comes through on “Kaleidoscope,” previously an upbeat rocker, but now transformed into a gentle lullaby featuring duelling ukuleles, upright bass and sweet harmonies. Likewise, “Mr, Blue Sky,” a rare cover of a song by one of his original heroes, Jeff Lynne, takes a tender approach that brings out the song’s wistful reflection. “Noise,” a duet with Dar Williams, sounds like vintage Simon and Garfunkel, complete with its gentle harmonies and serendipitous refrains. However, no song sums up Jesse’s idea of peace and serenity better than “I Was an Island,” which finds him joined by Kim Richey. Written on Inisheer Island (one of the remote Aran Islands located off the coast of Ireland), the song conveys a clear sense of solitude, a quiet respite from the chaos and cacophony of the modern world.

Since the start, Jesse has found time to reflect and reminisce. By contrast, his early life was turbulent. “I’m only happy now because I know how difficult life can be,” he maintains. “I am so grateful, because even though I’ve travelled down some painful roads, I’ve met many more people that have had it a lot worse. I now realize that happiness is a choice, a daily choice in fact. It’s about creating your own place in the world and your own path that no one can steal or deny. Music and songwriting helped illuminate that path for me.”

Still, that path wasn’t so clear early on. Growing up, he spent time in reform schools and in shelters as a runaway. After ending up in the hospital at the age of 18 following an overdose of illicit substances, he woke up to the fact that his life would have to change. “Music didn’t completely overtake me until I started writing my own songs around age nineteen,” he recalls. Motivated by his parents’ love of music, he found a new depth of devotion and discipline. Learning to play on his mother’s guitar and laying down vocals to his father’s instrumental accompaniment at his dad’s home studio, he found his initial inspiration in the Beatles, Roy Orbison, Bruce Springsteen, Brian Wilson and the remarkable singer/songwriters of the ‘70s -- James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne, CSNY, and Paul Simon, among them.

After attending Berklee, Jesse landed his dream job working for a publisher in Nashville and turned his attention towards writing songs full time for five years. A downturn in the economy left him out on his own, but he took the opportunity to tour the world with his new wife Jess by his side. Gripped by what he calls his “perpetual wanderlust,” he’s been at it ever since, driven by a mission that he says has “been a great ride so far.”

He pauses to consider his good fortune. “The tapestry of my life is woven through human connection, healing and unity. This is what music has allowed me to experience.”

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