Echo Me give us a reason to do just that – indieberlin album review

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Jesper Madsen aka Echo Me comes in with a masterful and multi-layered debut

Echo Me is live in Lido on 22.11.12

The debut album of Jesper Madsen aka Echo Me strikes one immediately as the work of a singer who must surely have at least a few albums under his belt. The first album is meant to be optimistic, brave, a little experimental still, rough edges showing through, somewhere, somewhere, a touch of unsureness. The second album is more rounded but slightly less exciting – depending of course on the success of the first. It’s only people whose debut album did surprisingly well that experience that well-documented „difficult second album“ problem – if your first only caused ripples and not waves then the second one is actually quite easy to do. Especially since you’re still left with all those extra songs that you couldn’t quite fit onto the first one.

But Madsen’s debut album sounds supremely confident, it sounds like the work of an artist who has had time to mature somewhere else – out of the spotlight I suppose. On youtube you’ll find JM playing gigs around the world (before the release of the first album he’s already toured Scandinavia, Europe and the US) with an acoustic guitar and a mate playing either that keyboard thing that you blow into – what the hell are they called again? – or a bit of piano or ukelele. And JM seems like the typical young European who’s come across the works of proper, old-time singers – read folk, read American – which means that Jasper’s present in checked shirt blowing into harmonicas and pinkling acoustic guitar strings. There have been countless, countless young European kids discovering proper artists – proper artists who have integrity because, I don’t know, they’re American and lived in the sixties or something. So I was a bit surprised after first checking Jasper out on youtube before listening to the album. Forgive me for expecting something very different. While the album does have a very subtle undertone of folk – in the occasional bit of acoustic instrumentation really – but the style has very little do with all that. If you want labels I’d say indie pop rock folk songwriter and something else, but as usual the labels say either far too little or the worng thing completely. Probably best if I just say, whereever Jasper Madsen aka Echo Me has sprung fully-formed, mature and confident in his abilities, he has also managed to develop that most elusive of things in a singer and songwriter – his own unique voice. Check it out. You’ll like it, I promise.

 

Review by Noel Maurice. Noel Maurice is an independent musician from South Africa and England, living and playing in Berlin. His album “LIve in Freudenhaus Hase” is out on indieberlin records in December 2012.