I’ve followed Minneapolis singer-songwriter Jeremy Messersmith’s musical career from way back, and each new album shows improvement and growth, but now with Heart Murmurs I can say he’s hit his stride. Like Elliot Smith, Messersmith’s always been a master of melancholy melodies. But here he gives us an album that’s thematically well rounded about every aspect of heartbreak, from beginning to end. The glorious sound is to imagine Paul Simon as the leader of Coldplay.
Starting with “It’s Only Dancing,” about the tension of that first dance at a prom, the dense chords echo through your head. Next the single “Tourniquet” is an awesome earworm that lingers long enough for you to sing along. Sung with wistful elegance, “Steve” is told from the perspective of the best friend with a secret crush. “Ghost” is another heavy beat gem about leaving the past behind, contrast that with the acoustic desperation of “I Want To Be Your One Night Stand.” Each song builds with great atmosphere, “Bubblin'” and “Hitman” are another perfect tandem of mature orchestrated pop (my favorites here).
Producer Andy Thompson helps keep the arrangements clean and crisp, and accented with orchestral instrumentation that rounds out each mini drama. Overall, a creative triumph that deserves a spot on my top ten album list for 2014. If this doesn’t get the name of Jeremy Messersmith out there to the ears of the hoi polloi I don’t know what will.