Jesse Parent – This Uncertainty (Independent)
From Kitchener, Ontario, Jesse Parent describes himself as a “true-blue, Canadiana roots performer”. A regular presence on his local scene, he’s a renowned performer, happy to play his music anywhere he can, from dank basement bars to festival stages, and all those experiences pay off on a sophomore collection that sounds simultaneously lived in and loose, yet toned to perfection.
Live, he likes to keep things simple and acoustic, but he launches “This Uncertainty” with the full-on rocker “Make U Want It”. Electric guitars carve out a shameless rock riff and Parent sings his song in a voice that falls somewhere between Matthew Sweet and Billy Corgan. The mix of folk influences, blues, roots and rock isn’t always an easy sound to pull off, but Parent cleverly changes the emphasis with each song, keeping things fresh and exciting, and the first-time listener never quite knows what’s coming next.
He follows the opening track with the harmonica-led roots-rocker “Reason to My Rhyme” and by the time the power-pop crunch of the title-track arrives, Parent’s on quite a roll. “Not Loving You” slows things right down – before the band kick in - and exposes a sensitive side, which he handles perceptively and avoids any potential soppiness. Best of all is “So Far”. Mostly acoustic, a wandering keyboard adds depth and a muscular guitar solo soars.