Junior Mesa has shared a first listen of his upcoming project with the release of “Listen Close,” a melancholic jammer that sees the young singer/songwriter weaving personal strife into his penchant for jittery rock pieces. Written about Mesa’s relationship with music and how it’s been strained by his struggle with epilepsy, his ecstatic cries echoing his frustration even as they glide so sublimely alongside the song’s delirious melody. The song is also accompanied by a video that Mesa directed himself — and from the first shot of an orange-faced Mesa staring unblinking through an old television set, all the way through his escape from two terrifying clowns, the video is a trippy mirror for the kinds of anxieties and terrors he’d feel because of his epilepsy.
And it’s not just a defiant Mesa choosing to be creative in the face of adversity. “Listen Close” sees its narrator as lost and confused by the situation as anyone else — there’s no one who expresses more perplexment over the decision to keep making music despite the paralyzing fear of having a seizure because of it than Mesa himself. Woozy, disarmingly candid (and even a little humorous over the cruel irony of it all), the shot of Mesa in the video as a frowning clown perfectly captures his role as an artist whose voracious honesty breeds the kind of music that is as jolting and affecting.
|“In this song, I compare music to a toxic relationship. I have struggled with epilepsy the past couple of years trying new medications, dosages and pretty consistently feeling very sick and depressed. This affected the thing I love most: music. I would make music ’til the world around me would spin, my hands would go numb and I couldn’t breath, all caused by the anxiety that I would have a seizure, but for some reason I couldn’t stop. It’s just what I do. It’s all I want to do…create shit”|
Watch the video for Junior Mesa’s new song “Listen Close” below!