In September, folk/Americana musician John Haesemeyer released his seven track album, title Three Mirrors. The album was created with helped from over twenty other internationally recognised musician’s, including Prince’s former guitarist, and unsurprisingly the release party was packed out. And this saturation of talent pays off, each track so tightly wound it’s impossible to pick apart, each as distinct as the last.
When asked how Three Mirrors differs from his debut, Come Along Quickly, he stated; “Well we focused on doing only 7 songs, 4 of which are more highly produced. Sound-wise its more layered; there’s more depth. In terms of composition, the songs have more complex melodies and harmonies, although now that I think of it, there is one song that is mostly just two chords that focuses on the lyrics which I wrote long ago and finally got around to recording. We also have a country duet on the record – my first time writing a duet.”
From the opening title track, the album lays out its claim as relaxed and fluid; it all but forces you to relax into the sound and be swept away by it. Instead of crescendos, we have long, controlled notes that only hint at John’s capabilities. With a rather REM-esque angle, Two Of Me once again highlights the vocal strength in the driven opening. A lethargic pace and contrasting momentary country overtones speed up and slow the tracks, each crafted with intense deliberation.
Deep, mellow and soulful Think I’m Going Down touches on sounding outdated, akin to a wound down Crowded House, yet keeps the power in the song’s simplicity. Church of My Childhood and Back To College continue the sentimental vibe, retrospective and observant, with the latter boasting the most stripped back sound off the record. Vancouver’s Shore is the duet John speaks of; the vocals pair up wonderfully to tell two halves of the same story, country and soppy in equal mix. Closing Bright White makes the perfect finale for the record; the chilled and focussed sound that slips into this piece adds a softness and depth that slows the listener right down.
John’s gift for storytelling is a triumph in these songs, with dedication and deliberation in each moment of the music to lure you further in.