Jason Reeves: On The Rise
For those of you who are big fans of Colbie Caillat, I feel that you should know about young Jason Reeves. If you’ve heard the song “Realize” from Colbie’s album, well, he’s the fellow singing with her who co-wrote the track.
A couple months back, I sat down with Jason before his gig at Hotel Café here in Los Angeles. I had heard his album, “The Magnificent Adventures of Heartache” and took an instant liking to it. You see I sometimes like to shuffle about on MySpace sometimes and look for the top unsigned artists. One leads to the next, which leads to the next and so on. He’s labeled himself as acoustic/alternative/folk on there, which is about right.
We sat in the small lobby before his set while a CD of José Gonzalez played overhead. Like many a Los Angelino, he had really just come to the city to record – all the way from Iowa City. Three years later, he still hasn’t left. The first person he met was Colbie, and he now describes their relationship as that of “brother and sister.” His MySpace page features videos of the two playing together, and they will be sharing the stage in 15 cities between now and 2 May, after which time he continues on the road with Tyrone Wells.
He’s found a lot of traction pretty quickly, and sans a big label to boot. So naturally I had to ask if signing to one of the majors was even necessary anymore. “More and more you don’t need [one],” he said. “You can do almost anything by yourself…having a MySpace page is just crazy. They should charge bands for that.” While on the subject of computers, Jason got a little heavy on me. “Computers are already taking us over,” he said. “MySpace, Facebook, these things are slowly coming into existence that not just make us wanna go on the computer, but they suck us into the computer and stay there for hours and days. The machines are already thinking and they already know how to gradually trap us. We’re just literally gonna be trapped inside of that box which is the computer. Our souls will be, like, gone from our bodies, and be, like, sucked in there. It’s really cynical, but I think we’re getting taken over.”
It’s a very cerebral notion from a guy whose music comes straight from the heart. His album took a couple of years to write, he told me. And the material comes from more than one heartache for Jason. He atests: “I don’t believe in holding back and being afraid [of falling in love] like a lot of people are.” Take a listen to ‘You in a Song,’ ‘New Hampshire’ and ‘Just Friends’ for a few (up-tempo) case studies.
I could tell you more about our chat, like how he gets frustrated by venues that are 21+ at the door, or how he believes that love is real, and the lack of faith in love he sees around him suggest that “there’s something wrong with humans.” But I think his music will say it best.
As he went off to get ready, he suggested I take a listen to a self-professed “cello plucker” named Lindsay Mac, who was opening that night. And Lindsay put it best during the patter between her songs. She said: “Music makes it all better, I think.”
Cheers to that.