Heart Murmurs

Heart Murmurs

by Jeremy MessersmithJeremy Messersmith


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Following 2010's The Reluctant Graveyard (written from the perspective of the dead) and 2012's ambient, largely instrumental Paper Moon, Heart Murmurs is Minneapolis singer Jeremy Messersmith's foray back into the living world of big pop songwriting. The aptly titled LP shivers with the irregularities of its namesake, just as it beats with a steady, gushing pulse. Messersmith has long been a proponent of wistful and melancholic songs, but on Heart Murmurs he takes on the many romantic aspects of the heart, sung from perspectives of yearning, apathy, and regret, to name a few. Making his debut for Glassnote Records, he steps out from the D.I.Y. indie aesthetic of his earlier work to deliver an 11-track clinic on studiocraft that walks a fine line between big-budget pomp and careful elegance. Working again with Minneapolis producer Andy Thompson, the arrangements are streamlined and punchy, but with tightly woven strings, pianos, and other neatly sprung tricks. Beginning with the opening tale of unrequited love, "It's Only Dancing," you're drawn into Messersmith's unapologetically human tales that he delivers in his warm, high tenor voice. Both in presentation and songwriting, Messersmith comes across as ultimately relatable in the same way that mentor and former producer Dan Wilson (Trip Shakespeare, Semisonic) does, but like Wilson, he strives for a higher artistic standard to transcend the often pedestrian adult contemporary genre where music like this tends to be placed. While some of the freewheeling creativity of his earlier records has been subdued, the grand scheme of Heart Murmurs is one of subtlety and artistic maturity. Songs like "Bridges," "Bubblin'," and "Hitman" are wonderfully realized power pop ballads, and even if the single "Ghost" falls a bit too closely into the rousing strum 'n' kick Mumford/Lumineers mold, it is such a better-written piece of music than those bands' vacant hobo epics that it's not hard to get behind it. Taken as a whole, Heart Murmurs is a well-rounded and full-hearted record by an elite songwriter deserving of greater exposure.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/04/2014
Label: Glassnote
UPC: 0810599020439
catalogNumber: 150
Rank: 104993


  1. It's Only Dancing
  2. Tourniquet
  3. Bridges
  4. Steve
  5. Ghost
  6. Heidi
  7. I Want To Be Your One Night Stand
  8. You'll Only Break His Heart
  9. Bubblin'
  10. Hitman
  11. Someday, Someone

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jeremy Messersmith   Primary Artist,Guitar,Piano,Vocals
Brian Tighe   Guitar,Vocals
Andy Thompson   Guitar,Drums,Keyboards,Vocals
Megan Thompson   Flute,Oboe
Janey Winterbauer   Vocals
Allison LaBonne   Vocals
Dan Lawonn   Bass,Cello,Vocals
Josh Misner   Violin
Erica Burton   Viola
Ben Allen   Bass,Guitar,Percussion,Keyboards
Zachary Scanlan   Violin
Laurels String Quartet   Strings
Sarah Perbix   French Horn,Vocals
Colleen Bertsch   Viola
Jesse Peterson   Violin

Technical Credits

Brian Tighe   Arranger,Composer
Andy Thompson   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Engineer,String Arrangements
Jeremy Messersmith   Arranger,Composer
Graham Barton   Engineer
Dan Lawonn   Arranger,Composer
Michael Cina   Artwork
Sumner Jones   Engineer
Ben H. Allen   Producer

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