Jesse Mac Cormack
with Tylor Jay Santos
Jesse Mac Cormack's at last beginning to see what his music is all about. His second studio album is piercing as a look, tender as a goodbye—a collection of electronic songs that lift and crash like waves upon a shore. After a recording process that was by turns nourishing and peaceful, lonely and anguished, the gifts of time, distance and therapy have allowed the Montreal songwriter to finally understand everything he wants to say.
"Whatever you go through, you're always going to be alone with what you're living," Mac Cormack says. This was a hard-won lesson. In the deepest depths of the Pandemic, with a relationship in its ending, the musician recalls finally making a decision: to move forward, to change, to really begin to see himself. SOLO is the sound of that transformation, recorded over the course of a year and a half, marked by its hardships but also its relief.
As on Now, Mac Cormack's acclaimed 2019 debut, he plays almost every instrument himself, surrounded by a soundtrack of one. Across 10 rippling tracks, the singer summons a sonic world that's razor-edged and intimate, influenced by the textured electronics of James Blake, Little Dragon, Caribou and SUUNS. Drum machines stutter under blooms of synths; curses float below swirls of loving sound. Mac Cormack has hidden so much discomfort inside an album that's warm and glimmering, like a storm cloud before its strike. Even now, long after the season's passed, there's lightning in the air.