By Haley Pukanski
EDMONTON — Emotional folk heroes Jesse and The Dandelions release their third album on September 9th. Vocalist and songwriter Jesse Northey gets personal with the release of his new album, True Blue. “Mostly I’m asking who in life are the real deal. Are they stars? Does being a star make you a jerk?” Jesse asks.
True Blue features melodic riffs built on top of catchy beats to create a soothing vintage, poppy sound. The eight-track album comes along with an aesthetically fitting promotional infomercial (which debuted on BeatRoute.ca) and a music video for the album anthem, “No Fun.” Both videos touch on the playful energy that the album dances around but also takes regimented ideas and forms them into cohesive themes. “The video was an homage to my past also while poking a little bit of fun at myself,” says Northey. From the figure-skating Northey in the “No Fun” video, to the awkwardness of an 80s-style infomercial in the promotional vid, Jesse and the Dandelions warm you up from your toes to your soul. Along with writing, producing, recording and performing, Northey has enlisted the help of local film producers and actors to create a venerable world of indie pop tunes sure to follow you throughout the fall and winter. As a recording engineer, Northey engaged his resources to influence the entire album and all that it encapsulates. “I got into recording in the first place so that I would have the ability to create my own albums,” notes Northey, “it obviously has huge advantages.”
For True Blue, Northey worked with local musicians Aidan Lucas Buckland and Aaron Parker, who performed synth and drums on the album, respectively. Unlike the previous Dandelion records, Northey mentions that he “pushed it a little further with some strings [recorded by Nathan Wong] on the track, ‘North Star.’” The strings particularly create a complete different texture on top of the soft, spooky synth lines. Along with “North Star,” the intense pop songs of True Blue are sure to be bangers for your night drives, parties, and cozy nights in.
Throughout the album emotions fly and the truth is faced. “My music grapples with some existential questions I have with myself, but don’t really know how to talk about,” Northey explains. “Yet I think the songs are a little less personal on this album than previous ones and focus more on broad themes,” hence the fun, warm, cozy feel.
The progression of Jesse and The Dandelions is going solid and remains steady. Since their first release in 2012, Northey has recorded and self-produced three full-length albums. “I think this album sounds a lot better than the last one and the songs are definitely a little more ambitious and adventurous.” Northey says. “If you are aware of your progress you are able to understand what choices you need to make in order to move forward.”
It’s clear that Northey is following his dreams. So far this year, Jesse has played Sled Island, Funfest, and Canadian Music Week and will be playing Breakout West in the fall. The future of Jesse and The Dandelions is looking brighter than ever with a two-month tour to promote the release of True Blue.
Check out Jesse and the Dandelions on September 1st at The Needle in Edmonton, on September 9th in Lethbridge at the Slice and, on September 10th in Calgary as part of Circle the Wagons festival.AB, Alberta, Circle the Wagons, Jesse and the Dandelions, The Needle, The Slice