If you’ve turned on the radio at any point in the last few weeks, you’ve no doubt heard Jesse Labelle’s latest single, Heartbreak Coverup. Well, that isn’t his whole story, as his sophomore album was just released and it is appropriately titled Two.
On the Wax Records label out of Toronto, Jesse gets a lot more risky with Two. Whereas his debut album was a bit softer in tone and perhaps a bit more rudimentary in sound, Two is really a chance for him to spread his wings and fly. And fly he does. There are hints on this album of bands like Neverest and sounds that remind us of John Legend, with others still that are even a bit Foster the People. Somehow, all the sounds are uniquely Jesse, but the album doesn’t have one overarching tone to it, which makes for a great listening variety.
There is a clear progression to Two from Jesse’s first album, Perfect Accident. A lot of the tunes have the same soft undertones, but the overall sound of the new album is a bit edgier. It is a pop album, after all, but you forget that very quickly because it’s not the other pop you hear on the radio from the likes of Justin Bieber or Taylor Swift.
Jesse almost falls into the small space between Pop/Rock that seldom actually exists. We find artists are either pop or rock, not the slash in the middle, but Jesse is actually one exception. No, he isn’t trying to blast out anyone’s ear drums with heavy metal, nor is he trying to woo you with Backstreet Boys-esque love-fests. This is just good music at its core, and it’s all original stuff.
If you’re looking for something just left of mainstream, you’ve found it with Two. It has a great blend of sounds, very distinctive lyrics, and a remarkably wide variation of genres within it if you listen closely enough.