Not long ago, Jesse Marchant was asked what headline he would most like to read in the not-too-distant future. With a quiet chuckle and expected humility, Marchant replied, “Jesse Marchant paints his masterpiece.”
Antelope Running, Marchant’s stunning fifth album, is out now. And only Marchant himself would be surprised to see a certain headline gracing the pages of industry publications.
Antelope Running finds Marchant traveling through time to recall a near-death experience from his youth and a hotel suite bender just before he met his wife. His recollections are as varied as the backdrops for his writing: A hazy stay in a stream-side Catskill cottage, months at home in Brooklyn with protests and riots at his doorstep, and a summer of isolation in the forest that culminated with the news that he was about to become a father.
The songs on Antelope Running paint the portrait of a man consumed with compassion, looking back. Marchant’s acceptance and longing are interwoven, yielding a depth of writing that is clearer and more significant than his past efforts.
Pianos and Marchant’s signature arpeggiating electric guitar structures provide the foundation for many of the tracks. Also prominent is Marchant’s synthesizer which forms the basis for the recently released “An Accident (from 3 perspectives),” an urgent pop song that stands alongside Don Henley’s Boys of Summer as its brooding and more menacing sibling. The Stream Rushes On, features the synth exclusively, along with delayed programmed drums and Marchant’s haunting, Jim James-esque vocal. It’s a love song that will undoubtedly capture the hearts of teenagers from the ’90s, as it recalls high school slow-dance ballads of that era.
Co-produced by D. James Goodwin (Bob Weir, Kevin Morby, Bonny Light Horseman), Antelope Running is also home to the meandering and masterful eight-minute-long title track; the many-verses-long “Century.” which recounts a momentous life event; and the previously released “Go Lightly,” which American Songwriter has called the album’s “pillar track.”
Throughout the album, Marchant’s baritone is deep and clear, as he allows himself a greater vocal range and freedom than ever before. Clarinet arrangements by Stuart Bogie (Arcade Fire, Antibalas) occasionally overtake moments of songs in a manner so beautiful that it forces you to surrender and listen. Marchant’s longtime drummer Jason Lawrence and bass player Logan Coale (Taylor Swift, The National) return to form the rhythm section, and the recordings comprise mainly of live takes from a Sept. 2020 session at Goodwin’s Isokon Studio in Woodstock, NY.
Born in Montreal and now based in New York, Marchant has previously released four albums (on the first two he went by JBM) with Partisan Records. He has made numerous headline tours of the United States and Canada and has been featured in national support slots for Alt-J, Other Lives, Nathaniel Rateliff, Sondre Lerche, Rogue Wave, Cloud Cult, Heartless Bastards, Local Natives, AA Bondy, Damien Jurado, and many more.
My life is a soundtrack, i track my life through music, photography is my passion, my escape, my expression. Without both i have pieces missing, thankfully i'm blessed and get to combine both.
Born in Manchester, lived in Australia for 22 years where i was heavily involved in the Australian Music Industry, firstly in bands (Singer) and then managing bands (all original), I moved back to the UK, Wales specifically 10 years ago and married my childhood sweetheart and life is good.