Pop & Hiss

The L.A. Times music blog

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L.A. Unheard: Jesse Thomas’ folky ‘Fire’ (song premiere)

January 24, 2012 |  4:54 pm

The band: Jesse Thomas, a Los Angeles singer-songwriter bred in Kentucky.

The sound: “I’m no good at emotional stuff,” Thomas warns in the opening lines of her debut album,  “War Dancer,” but singing about it is a different story. The Hotel Café veteran’s album is an upbeat country-folk collection, built around the contrast between bright acoustic guitars, stately string arrangements and Thomas’ whiskey wheeze. Her voice, rough and quivering, recalls the country forays of Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst, though songs such as sassy tell-off “Already Mine” keep the album from needing a Paxil prescription.

The random: Thomas' EP track “Stay” made a 2010 appearance on “Degrassi” — post-Drake, unfortunately.

The details: “War Dancer” is due Feb. 14, with Thomas set to open for Amy Kuney at the Bootleg on Feb. 1.

The music: Download the Pop & Hiss premiere of the “War Dancer” track “Fire” below.

MP3Jesse Thomas -- "Fire"

-- David Greenwald

Photo: Los Angeles singer-songwriter Jesse Thomas, whose new album is due on Valentine's Day. Credit: Jesse Fox.