Jessy Tomsko - The Light You Make
he way we experience life, how we think and feel, is up to us. That's the pervasive theme of Jessy Tomsko's debut album The Light You Make. The disc's ten appealing songs let us in on her philosophy and her gift for effortless warmth. From the cover art to her breezy, mellifluous singing voice, the presentation is welcoming and unguarded.
Her style is so easy and her voice so sweet you might not notice how skilled she is. She really finesses these soft, lilting melodies, carefully treating every inflection. Meanwhile the words flow like a friendly conversation, as though singing is simply the way she speaks. Her voice evokes Sarah McLachlan, but also Ani DiFranco without the confrontational edginess. Her band reminds me of the Goo Goo Dolls. Plenty of ringing acoustic guitars and muffled drums support her laid-back voice. The occasional electric guitar and organ with vibrato add extra flavor.
Most of the tracks are unhurried or even sedate, but “Good Company” is a bittersweet song with an up-tempo country beat. It's about temporary relationships, illustrated by a robin nesting near her home and a summer fling, both of whom casually fly away. The song ends on a hopeful note after a little self-examination and insight reveals the positive flip side: being left is also being given freedom. “Willing” is the other bouncy track, an up-tempo and up-beat tune about making the most of life and cultivating what's truly important. Overall, the album has a nice balance of humor, positivity, and melancholy.
Tomsko doesn't push any boundaries but she makes a good, honest statement with her first full-length record. Her tunes are heartfelt and likable and she's an exceptional singer.
-Nathaniel Rolnick, muzicreviews.com
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