Jesse Donovan: “Too Close For Comfort” – an existing allure that is both strong and intoxicating

Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Jesse Donovan was introduced to music by his father and encouraged by both his parents in developing his artistic skills. Jesse began composing and performing in professional capacities before he furthered his music and arts education in college. Since graduating he has continued to allow his talents reach out to others. Together with his wife Tara, Jesse has put together the music and arts company – Circles and Sounds. An artist that is not limited by genres and styles, Jesse Donovan has released a 13 track guitar and vocal album, entitled “Too Close For Comfort”.

Jesse Donovan sings with the voice of someone who’s seen the downside of living and made peace with it. And then again, he can sing like someone who has seen the upside of living circumnavigated it.

Over the 13 disarmingly simple songs that make up “Too Close For Comfort”, Jesse quietly touches on a number of subjects, as if engaging in a casual back-porch conversation. He has a lovely lilting voice, a consummate instrumental touch, and a natural flair for drama. Jesse doesn’t so much imitate American folk tradition as bend it to suit his particular voice.

“Too Close For Comfort” gives the impression that a musical species long thought extinct has instead found a way to adapt and thrive in some forgotten corner of the world in Hickory, NC. Jesse Donovan reminds music fans that a man with a guitar, a voice, and a song can shake up a few spirits. From all perspectives, the album’s grace comes from understated genius.

Jesse’s triumphs are not limited to individual moments though, as the entire album stuns, sedates, and fills from beginning to end. He has produced an understated expression of beauty and lyricism. It’s complex, but never complicated; it’s soft, but never easy.

With such powerful and intelligent songwriting, Jesse Donovan enables himself to use lines and melodies that lesser performers wouldn’t get away with. It all works because Jesse is a fearlessly accessible songwriter, framing his thoughts in concrete imagery and solid, inviting melodies.

From the opening track, “And You Disappear” to the closing “Mechanical Wishes” Jesse, never changes the guitar and voice combination. But he’ll knock you flat, all the same. Jesse Donovan may not be revolutionizing the face of music on “Too Close For Comfort”.  In fact, he’s reverting to simpler, purer forms of authentic Americana music with an indie twist.

But his music is so beautiful and mesmerizing that it’s hard to find fault with it. On the contrary you’ll fall in love with the poignancy of songs like “The Crimson Brook”, “Worth Waiting For”, “Sparklers”, and “Rain Song”.

The music alone isn’t what makes Jesse Donovan so endearing, though. He has a talent for weaving gothic themes in with his guitar strums and scattered lyrical pictures. All the while, he enriches the setting and characters in his songs with a long list of images and metaphors that knit the album tightly together.

There is also a certain feeling of warmth that is derived from each vocal performance by Jesse Donovan – an existing allure that is both strong and intoxicating. On December the 18th Jesse will also be releasing another album, this time accompanied by a full band, where he will further flesh out some of his original compositions. The trailer for that album can be viewed here:


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