Tobias Jesso Jr. and Father John Misty spent 2015 working the ’70s lounge-y singer-songwriter archetype to very different ends. While FJM aggressively eye rolled at the genre’s penchant for schmaltz, Jesso was out here reminding us why those songs got big in the first place. Most of Jesso Jr.’s debut album Goon — and especially the unironic fence-swing of “ How Could You Babe” — proved that 2016 had plenty of room for piano balladry delivered without a wink. And this new track “Don’t” is more of the heart-weary same.
The demo was dropped by Jesso without comment on his Twitter. It’s a slice of ragged, late-night pleading that explicitly contradicts its own refrain of “I guess I’m getting over you” with all of the begging that surrounds it.
And the new track shows just what Adele saw in the young singer when she recruited him to work on “When You Were Young” for her world-dominating album 25. The Canadian singer’s own collection heartbroken tunes didn’t quite do the numbers that Adele’s release did, but it did net him a Polaris Prize nomination alongside big names like Drake and The New Pornographers. “Don’t” probably won’t boost his profile any higher than it already is, but it should inspire you to go back and give Goon another spin.