Review – Jesse Waldman

Album: Mansion Full of Ghosts
Release date: March 24th, 2017
Genre: Folk/Blues

Vancouver singer-songwriter Jesse Waldman’s debut album, Mansion Full of Ghosts, is tugging on heartstrings this Spring. With four years of labor stacked behind it, Mansion Full of Ghosts holds up a microscope to the importance of one’s roots, one’s family, and what one can accomplish when aspirations are chased.

A veteran performer who has toured the western U.S, the U.K, and played at Canada’s chief festivals—namely Vancouver’s Folk and International Jazz Fests—Waldman channels all he holds dear into his 16-track album, each song irreversibly and unmistakably original. Featuring a blend of atmospheric acoustics, downy vocals, and gifted West Coast musicians as the instrumental backbone, Mansion Full of Ghosts lures listeners in immediately with its strong sense of setting in its opening track, “Hope in Shadows”. In it, Waldman paints downtown Vancouver with a gritty realism, his lyrics leaning towards the evocative in a way that entirely immerses the audience in the story of a man who yearns to make it back into the “light” after living years in metaphorical darkness.

The fifteenth track, “Rest of My Days”, is where Waldman’s deep-seated roots come out to play: coupled with a music video comprised of old home videos spanning generations of Waldman’s family, Waldman spins a lullaby-esque tale of family, his Northern roots, and the beauty of both.

Infused with a hopeful tinge, Mansion Full of Ghosts is a wholesome, masterfully written debut that will appeal to fans both old and new. Dates for Waldman’s live shows have been posted on his website, and span across Vancouver until the tail-end of July—performances not to be missed, especially with these new tracks hitting the stage.

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