Tobias Jesso Jr. – Goon (True Panther Sounds; 2015)
To quote author Chuck Palahniuk’s novel Fight Club: “it’s only after we’ve lost everything, that we’re free to do anything.” That quote encapsulates 29-year-old singer-songwriter Tobias Jesso Jr.’s journey to the conception of his debut album, Goon. The Vancouver-native moved to Los Angeles to pursue music, but after a nasty breakup, losing his job, a car accident and discovering his mother had cancer, he returned home, defeated. The journey is what makes Goon so endearing. Not only is the songwriting timeless and earnest, there is a fragility and innocence to the execution that can only be attained through self-doubt and insecurity. The album channels ‘70s singer-songwriters like Randy Newman and John Lennon, but with crisp, clear production and quirky nuances that make it feel charming and modern.
For an album that was conceived through failure and loss, Goon is a triumph.
Trial Track: “Hollywood”