Style and Substance with Jeremy Messersmith

Photo by Aaron Davidson

Photo by Aaron Davidson

Most singer-songwriters talk about being motivated by their feelings. Jeremy seems to go to music for his feelings—a forum for emotional experience. “When I start writing a song it’s usually because there’s some type of emotion that I want to get at—that I want to either feel or to express myself. Or I want to exercise the gift of empathy.” Music isn’t all about feelings, of course, and Jeremy’s compositions are probably headier than a lot of current pop songs. He says he’s drawn by both the rational and emotive dimensions of music-making. In songwriting he’s exploring emotions in a way that he finds “intellectually gift-wrapped.”

Photo by Aaron Davidson

Photo by Aaron Davidson

Jeremy’s got an even speaking timbre. He can’t remember the last time he raised his voice (I asked). He’s also got a Midwestern aversion to boastfulness. It’d be easy to mistake him for just another local musician plugging away at it, but Jeremy’s really had a hell of a year. He recently signed to Glassnote Records (the celebrated, boutique outfit that released Grammy-winning albums for Phoenix and Mumford & Sons) and with the Paradigm Talent Agency (they’re already pairing him with the band Daughter to play big, full rooms in New York and Boston). If his next album is as strong as his partners seem to think it is, we could have a very large success story for front page of every arts section within 100 miles. One can safely bet that should Jeremy find himself at an awards podium sometime soon, he won’t be the flustered recipient who drives the producers nuts by going over time with his rambling, teary thank-you’s. More likely, he’ll have a neatly folded bit of paper in the breast pocket of a jacket selected just for the occasion by Vanessa.

Photo by Aaron Davidson

Photo by Aaron Davidson

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