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Hype for Tobias Jesso Jr.’s Goon arguably hit peak levels during his Tonight Show network television debut, where he played a heartbreaking (and Roots-assisted) rendition of the flawless, flooring single How Could You Babe.
It’s a relief, then, that the whole album lives up to that hype. Written at his parents’ North Vancouver home, Goon sparkles with powerful emotional depth. It’s one of the best pop debuts in recent memory, teetering dangerously on the edge of perfection.
Jesso Jr. rolls through personal heartache and snapshots of his time in L.A. with ease and insight on tracks like the devastating electric piano nu-classic Bad Words, the understated, Beatlesesque Can We Still Be Friends and Hollywood, a sprawling centrepiece about hitting rock bottom, featuring the coda “I think I’m gonna die in Hollywood.”
Goon is an indisputable triumph and a staggering opening statement from pop music’s newest Piano Man.
Top track: How Could You Babe
Tobias Jesso Jr. plays at Mod Club on October 9th. Win tickets here.