Songs of great sincerity and palpable emotional depth, anthems of revelrous celebration, ballads where darkness encounters the light, and psalms of earnest love; these are the kinds of musical expressions Vess has been writing his whole life and now, with the help of producer Michael Finster, this combination of lyrical strength intertwines with an orchestral-like vibrancy to deliver Vess’ new album Shadows.
With Shadows, Vess emerges from the dense fog of a fatally shallow pop culture to deliver a timely message: Love is real, it’s eternal and it’s worth fighting for. Shadows is the culmination of one man’s journey with love, self-doubt, redemption and the divine.
These are the themes that weigh heavy on the mind of a seasoned troubadour like Vess, a man who has spent his life honing his craft. Born and raised in North Carolina, he spent his formative years on the coast, calling Cape Hatteras home for many years. But his NC roots spread wide as much of his family are from the mountains, while he himself resides now in the central part of the state in Salisbury, NC with his wife and baby daughter.
Free in his sonic exploration, the sounds emanating from Vess’ songs are of a tone one would find in a cinematic production. In his songs the musical stage is lavishly set for imaginative stories that are deeply captivating in their honesty; his music is heavy with this kind of harmonious effervescence that satisfies the soul and yet tantalizes the imagination to leave it aching for an expansive journey beyond our current horizon. It is happily devoid of myopic superficiality and instead, is filled with sustenant hope even in its darkest moments.
“Never Leave You Alone”, the first single from Shadows, is a haunting melody that leaves you both comforted by a promise that "love will never leave you…” and yet stirs an uneasiness in our psyche as we wrestle with the concept of commitment from a love that will be constantly lurking even if we run away.
From the soaring ethereal glow of “Scaring The Dark”, to the uplifting neo-gospel exultation of “Warm Heart, Thick Skin”, Vess’ lyrics and music pull you out of the pablum of the ordinary and invites you into a new world, a more hopeful world, where true love is real, and eternity is near. Vess creates a refreshing art that is as unabashedly authentic as it is spellbinding.
Bio credit: John Littlefield
Born: 1979 Salisbury, NC
Siblings: 1 younger brother
Spouse: Jessica Vess
Children: Josie Grace Vess
Instruments: Voice, guitar, piano, keys, mandolin, banjo, ukulele, drums, percussion and bass
Musical Inspirations: Michael Jackson, Johnny Cash, David Bowie, Jeff Buckley Al Green, Bruce Springsteen, Leonard Cohen, Brandon Flowers, Ryan Adams