In recent years there have been a series of “Perfect Accidents” that have led Jesse to the brink of his debut album release on Wax Records. Occurrences such as his CITY TV Speaker’s Corner performance, the broadcast of which generated several marriage proposals and a more serious email invitation from, at that time budding Canadian songstress Fefe Dobson to write with her and ultimately join her band. Or his chance meeting with Jay Levine (Philosopher Kings, Prozac) that led to a development deal with Arista Records. As well as his introduction to Dave Thomson while at Sony ATV where they became writing collaborators, which after taking separate paths, finds them now back together as artist and producer.
It is these kind of serendipitous events that are a recurring theme in Jesse’s life and in his songwriting. Jesse Labelle’s debut Wax Records release was recorded through August and September of 09 in Toronto and Nashville with producer Dave Thomson (Lights). When asked about his collaboration with Dave this time around Jesse relates “it was great to work with Dave again, we’ve been friends for a long time and have a mutual respect for each other’s strengths. Over the past few years Dave has really matured as a producer and I think I have matured as a songwriter so the recording process was the best it’s ever been, we were totally on the same page.” Jesse’s debut release is comprised of a dozen songs that each stand alone as individual vignettes that tell their own story but have a common thread of love both lost and found running through them. Musically the album is big, big hooks, big sweeping chorus’ and big production, but lyrically it’s incredibly intimate reflecting a range of emotions that move from loss and vulnerability, to hope and strength.
“Lost Without You was the first real song I ever wrote”, states Jesse. “It came out pretty much fully formed.” Like those stories you hear about automatic writers or painters who enter an altered state and when they come out of it they’ve created something perfect and complete. “It’s like something just comes over you. That describes the songwriting process for me, most of my songs come that way”. ‘Australia’ is the story about two people who had been in a relationship, one of which decided they had to leave to find their own way.
After being apart for some time they are about to meet again. The song is about anticipation and trepidation, excitement to meet again but fear that the one who left has changed and the connection may be irretrievably lost. Storytelling is central to Jesse’s writing. When asked why he says, “to me, human relationships are the only thing that matter in life, without that connection to others we are lost.
I find that writing and singing about those relationships and experiences is sometimes much easier than talking about them.” “Perfect Accident” came out of those earlier writing sessions with Dave Thomson. “This song is truly a collaboration with Dave and myself”, says Jesse. “Dave had this idea for a song and we sat down and fleshed it out together one afternoon”. The first radio single from Jesse’s debut release is about one of those moments that at first glance appears to be completely random but in hindsight was obviously meant to be and ultimately turns out to be one of those defining moments in a person’s life. Jesse Labelle’s ability to make a real connection with the listener through his songs is what sets him apart.
One thing is certain Jesse’s talent as a songwriter and performer is anything but an “accident”. It comes from years of honing his craft, scores of live performances and years of developing his skills as a gifted songwriter. His vision is clear and his feet are now firmly planted on the road to success. Read more on Last.fm.
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