Second Stage: Little-Known Bands You Should Hear

Second Stage: Malgre Lui

Download "Mercy Over Justice" by Malgre Lui (Right-click or control-click to save to your computer)

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According to the paperwork, this discreet CD-R has been sitting on our shelves since the summer of 2008. I find this hard to believe. I'm not saying that this modest 6-song EP is a work of staggering virtuosity, but Jamison Lee, a.k.a. Malgre Lui, has a soulful, unpretentious songwriting style that really caught my attention. His lyrics are vivid and imaginative, and each of his offbeat ballads could easily double as a singalong. The songs he writes are delicately arranged, and glued together by a gaunt but expressive voice that recalls great voices like Brian Wilson or more contemporarily, Will Sheff. Lee's songs have the feel of a simple home recording, but the music befits the slightly quirky, lo-fi sound.

Listen to "Mercy Over Justice"

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Lee is a doctoral student in poetry, which probably keeps him busy most of the time, but he has a natural facility for writing songs that are both playful and sincere. The six tracks that he recorded a few years ago remain his only release to date. A website, where the songs will be available to download, is in the works, but for now, they are all available to stream on his Myspace page.

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