You can download The Alcatraz Kid, Jeremy Messersmith's first album for free at : www.jeremymessersmith.com
To call Jeremy Messersmith a musician is half-truth: He’s also a storyteller, who has carefully crafted a trilogy of songs that narrate life. His first full-length release The Alcatraz Kid is a moving collection of acoustic-driven lullabies with titles like “Novocain” and “Beautiful Children” that innocently question the purpose of things to come. The integrity of these delicate songs immediately struck a cord with critics and fans alike, and captured the attention of Semisonic’s Dan Wilson, who offered to produce Messersmith’s follow-up album, The Silver City.
The Silver City was a natural progression in sound and reflection: the compositions grew fuller and more dynamic with a classic-pop feel inspired by the Beach Boys and Beatles: While the topics focused on midlife struggles with tracks like “Dead End Job” and “Miracles.” Local and national attention soon followed with NPR and college stations around the country, followed by U.S. tours and sold-out shows in New York, Chicago and Minneapolis. The Reluctant Graveyard bookends this trilogy of lifelong (ahem, literary) observations with songs like “Lazy Bones” and “Organ Donor,” and sonically continues on the '60s chamber pop path Messersmith set out with his sophomore release. He continues to share stages with notables such as Sondre Lechre and The Watson Twins, and has been featured on MTV and Ugly Betty. And while this collection of songs comes to an end, it’s no doubt that the stories will live on.
The Brooklyn-based duo Kaiser Cartel, made up of Courtney Kaiser and Benjamin Cartel, have been creating luscious harmonies and infectious melodies together since 2004. Both write, sing, and play multiple instruments on the albums and on-stage. Courtney a former member of John Mellencamp's band and classically trained vocalist; Benjamin a DIY, self-taught musician. Each had their own solo projects well underway when they met, but the pairing was an unmistakable success.
A paradox is not an impossibility. Zoo Animal, the band’s self-titled second record, reveals itself to uphold such a maxim with a sharp yet subdued sound that is informed by equal measures of classical minimalism and ‘90s grunge. This contrast is just one of many as Zoo Animal’s stark, articulate pop music vacillates between gentle and aggressive, volatile and peaceful, light and dark. It’s graceful, hushed, soul-stirring music, yet it rests atop traditional rock instrumentation – simply guitar, drums, bass – that can turn visceral at the drop of a drumstick.