Premiere: The Balance of Love and Fear is Tested in Jesse Etc’s “Tightropes”

Jesse Etc. © Brice Baum
Jesse Etc. © Brice Baum

There’s always that point in a relationship, the moment where it goes one way or the other. The point where you either take the next step, or you don’t. A lot of times, the next step isn’t taken because of the fear it won’t work out. Jesse Etc.’s new single “Tightropes,” is an eclectic mix of futuristic synth pop and nostalgic melodies with the epic plea to choose love over fear.

Listen: “Tightropes” – Jesse Etc
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Tightropes - Jesse Etc.
Tightropes – Jesse Etc.

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Tightropes,” (Near Mint) Jesse Etc.’s first single of 2017 and his follow-up to 2016’s Lavender EP. “Tightropes” fades into play with a low beat, synth sounds, and soft vocals that introduce the song with purpose,

I can’t do without you
I can’t do without

The first verse then begins with poetic lyrics that sweetly tap into the moment of a relationship where you either become real or fade away into nothing. In this case, Jesse Etc. is trying to tell his partner that he wants more, and that it’s okay if she does too. His bright voice contrasts perfectly with the music as he sings,

Every night you shape-shift into place
Did you ever think you’d be afraid?
‘Cause you’ve got this subtle look on your face
That says ‘I, I can’t stay’
But you could stay if you wanted to

As the chorus begins, the music pleasingly shifts into something new while the lyrics gracefully explain the relationship. His partner is on a tightrope deciding whether or not to walk across to him when it can be so easy to fall off. The Dallas songwriter/producer previously stated that he “draws as much inspiration from slickly produced Top 40 hits as from crate-digging for obscure 45’s.” With the chorus of “Tightropes,” you can tell this is true. It has a twinge of 90’s rock while still holding onto the BORNS like sound of the verse. Jesse Etc. sings the light and poppy chorus with effort,

You’re walking tightropes, baby
That I pushed you onto
There’s not a sweet spot to control you
So you’ll fall away, so far away

The pulsating beat shifts the song back into the second verse, where Jesse Etc. sings about the effects of being on this tightrope,

Every volt you pinpoint gets erased
How strange it is to be something
Now you’ve got this subtle burn in your grace
That says ‘I, I can’t stay’
But you could stay if you wanted to

After the second chorus plays, the hook comes in with futuristic sounds and the simplest, yet most effective lyrics of the song,

‘Cause I’ve got so much love to give

The beat continues to drum on before coming to a complete halt, giving the final chorus a push of power. An unexpected guitar solo accompanies the background of the final chorus, giving “Tightropes,” a truly epic ending.

“’Tightropes’ is my study of modern pop music at its current peak,” explains the artist. “I was listening to Carly Rae Jepsen’s E•MO•TION on repeat and losing my mind on how succinct the production was. I was also listening to Caribou’s Our Love a lot at the time. I’ve always been a big Dan Snaith fan — all of his albums are incredible. With “Tightropes,” I wanted to write a sun-soaked, hazed-out, dance-pop track that had the appeal of a Carly Rae Jepsen track with a production style more similar to Caribou.” Indeed, Jesse Etc. does embrace pop music’s tropes, peppering spirited flourishes of sound over the earworm melodies that comprise “Tightropes.”

Jesse Etc.’s songwriting and producing are nothing short of pop bliss. It’s Passion Pit, meets BØRNS, meets obscure bands from all across the docket, creating a sound that is uniquely its own. “Tightropes,” lyrics are pleasantly poetic. They allow the listener to relate to this situation in a new and different way, which is really what music is all about. It’s being able to come up with new ways to tell, arguably, the same story; the compilation that is “Tightropes” is able to do just that entirely.

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Tightropes - Jesse Etc.

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cover © Brice Baum

:: Listen to More from Jesse Etc ::

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