It's sort of astonishing that more people don't know about the sweetly effervescent pop of Jeremy Messersmith. Sure, the Twin Cities singer-songwriter's latest album, The Reluctant Graveyard, is a song cycle about death, and at his Tiny Desk Concert, he trots out a Star Wars-themed "Tatooine," which he says is "for the nerds." But, really, this guy is for everyone — his charming, timeless songs are just radiant, beautifully sung and beautifully played.
Messersmith didn't take his appearance in the NPR Music offices lightly: He enlisted a full band, complete with strings, to bring these songs (however ironically) to luscious life, and he picked short selections in an effort to maximize the impression he'd leave behind. We don't do many five-song Tiny Desk Concerts, but Messersmith's finely rendered, exquisitely infectious material warrants the moments of added attention. With his horn-rimmed glasses and esoteric subject matter, Jeremy Messersmith is no rock star. But he's a pop genius, with creative ambition to match his songs' considerable charm.
- "Toussaint Grey, First In Life And Death"
- "A Girl, A Boy, And A Graveyard"
Filmed and edited by Michael Katzif; audio by Kevin Wait; photo by Emily Bogle/NPR