Well, this is a nice surprise. From the absolute backwoods of Nowheresville Island (not it’s actual name), British Columbia comes Jesse Brint. He’s only recently turned to folksy twang from years pursuing rock and metal. Quite why it’s taken so long is a puzzle, as his lyrical flair and baritone voice are completely at ease with this new direction. A punchy five track EP is a sensible way to introduce yourself to the world anyway.
Firstly a spoiler alert: he does let rip with one few heavy, fuzzed-up guitar break, although it sits in the mix like a Neil Young tear up, rather than anything too ugly or overt. Brint’s voice and doleful, laconic style are very reminiscent of John Prine, but without the whine, closer to maybe the growl of Kristofferson. It’s really quite engaging. Added to which are guitars and percussion, all in simple, understated roles yet as a whole painting Brint’s pictures succinctly. ‘Old Miner’s Daughter’ is written about and for Jesse’s grandmother, her struggle with cancer and the non-materialistic things that really mattered in her life. It’s the lead track on the EP, and the words are ones we can be sure Brint wants the world to hear, but the strongest songs are elsewhere. ‘Not Your Song’ is a highlight. It’s super simple. Brint’s lyrics, as a whole, sit comfortably somewhere between universally simple and intelligently poised. It’s not easy to say quite what the message is with this track, it might just boil down to ‘keep trying, keep doing your best’. A succinct philosophy for life perhaps? ‘We Took Our Time’ is also a three-chord, no thrills, shot of loving pathos and shaft of sweet light.
Brint has a way with a simple melody that renders further complication largely unnecessary. ‘Backeddies’ is all about hometown, small town everything and nothingness, with the accompanying Neil Young guitar blast (which works well). Jesse Brint may never travel further than the wilds of Canada to ply his musical trade in person. He may spend his time in part willful, part geographical obscurity. But this is a great five song opener to who knows what might lie next.