Jesse Mac Cormacks debut album, Now, holds a sense of exploration, a culmination of a five year evolution of the Montreal artist. We caught up with him to find out about a few tracks that have influenced the album and his sound.

Jesse Mac Cormack‘s astonishing debut album arrived unhurried: a work of ardent, kaleidoscopic art-rock that is at once a dazzling premiere and the culmination of a meticulous five-year evolution. Over the course of three EPs – 2014’s Music for the Soul, 2015’s Crush and 2016’s After the Glow– Jesse has gathered accolades and refined his vision, nourishing a songwriting that is lavish and undaunted. Whereas Jesse’s earlier work drew heavily from folk and roots-rock – Les Inrocks called him the “new hero of modern folk” – the songs on Now are prismatic and forward-facing, recalling the adventurous pop of Tame Impala, Talk Talk and Perfume Genius.

A sense of exploration suffuses the album’s ten songs, but so does a sense of dream: the idea that discoveries aren’t just made by forethought but by feel. Seasons pass, relationships change, lessons come from unexpected quarters – “Yesterday is already gone and tomorrow may never come,” he sings.

We caught up with the Montreal native to find out about a few tracks that have influenced the album and his sound.

2020 by Suuns

That track is a great inspiration on how you can reinvent pop music by doing really catchy riffs, breaking up a little bit the kind of structure you would normally hear in a pop song and mixing it with other genres like dark techno for example.

The Rainbow by Talk Talk

The mood and the quality of the emotion delivery in that song amazes me. The range of dynamics and harmonica tones are out of this world and the way the verses merges into the chorus is brilliant. They were ahead of their time.

Kompromat by The Barr Brothers

I love African blues guitar playing and brad really masters the art of it. That song is a great mix between blues, African music and what I would call art rock, born out of Radiohead’s song writing.

Dogs by pink Floyd. 

From another era , when pop culture was very different. They made 20 minutes songs without wondering if it would make it to the radio. Today, everything moves so fast. I like to keep in mind That bands like Pink Floyd made a living out of their music without make their song run trough an app that would tell them if their song was good or bad…..

Not a song but a style of music that always stays with me is EMD/minimalist techno. It reminds that repetition is key to set a mood.

Jesse’s debut album, Now, is out now on Secret City Records.