Tobias Jesso Jr. is far behind his time in the best way. In a musical era where an honest and genuine artist is hard to come by, Jesso comes out swinging into the musical landscape with the piano skills of Elton John and the volatility of Harry Nilsson. His debut album “Goon” is 12 tracks of 70s-inspired heartbreak tunes bound to send even the most jaded and ironic millennial back to a simpler, more honest time.
His rising popularity coupled with television appearances and fans that include Taylor Swift and Adele hasn't exactly been easy. After his gig as a hired gun as a backing musician for Melissa Cavatti ended, he moved to Los Angeles where things weren't exactly perfect, He tells Rolling Stone in a profile:
"L.A. can make you feel like you've already made it," he says. "You're living off 40 dollars a week, it's nice weather. You go outside on your bike, you go to the coffee shop and everybody is doing nothing. It doesn't leave a lot of room for ambition." Without offers to write songs or a visa that allowed him to get a job, Jesso felt aimless. He began to look for what he calls "a universal sign" – and it came in the form of disaster. "In one week, I got hit by a car – it busted through my hand – and my mom got cancer," Jesso says, shaking his head. "My visa had expired, and I was living with my girlfriend while we were going through falling-out stages, kind of relying on her support." Jesso moved back to Vancouver to be with his mother during her recovery, feeling like he'd failed as a guitarist and ready to give up songwriting altogether.