(Make Me a) TRISTE© Mixtape Episode 5: The Very Most

The Very Most

The Very Most is an indiepop musical project from Boise, Idaho, USA that has been around, in one form or another, since 2002.
Jeremy Jensen writes the songs, sings a lot of them, and plays most of the instruments. The music is influenced by The Smiths, The Beach Boys, Belle and Sebastian, Magnetic Fields, Stereolab, Built to Spill and New Order, but reviewers mention a lot of other bands too.
“The Very Most Needs Help” is out now.

What Jeremy Says:
“I think It’s a sign that the band has its own sound when different reviewers hear different influences. The latest The Very Most album is called “Needs Help” and it’s called that because Jeremy needed help with the lead vocals on most of the songs because he managed to write and record them outside of his own vocal range. That was a good thing, though, since we were able to bring in the following brilliant vocalists to help out: Melanie Whittle (The Hermit Crabs), Kristine Capua (Tiny Fireflies), Cristina Quesada (Elefant Records solo artist), Gerri White (Arts & Leisure), Sally Jati (Starry Eyed Cadet), Gina Gregerson (Dirt Fishermen/Lovey), Sarah Lowenbot (Thee Ahs), Ashley Eriksson (LAKE), Adam and Darcie, Eli Moore (LAKE)”.

His Mixtape:


Prefab Sprout – The World Awake

How can a song be so upbeat and so sad at the same time? Has a line that gets me every time:
“So don’t you cry they’re,
They’re only words
They’re only the saddest thing you’ve ever heard”
Also, I love the harmonica in this song.

Lois – Unattached

I love the way this one builds and the organ that comes in, and, again, I just love the happy/sad of this song. My favorite songs are those that navigate that space between happy and sad. Lois’s voice is the perfect balance between sweet and smoky, almost like your favorite BBQ sauce. Lois is so underrated.

R.E.M. – Life and How to Live It

That guitar solo intro that starts out so gentle and then more intense before the band comes in… so good! The chorus in this one just elevates and elevates. There’s this great little bass fill that leads into the chorus. This is the perfect example of what made early R.E.M. so unique and unrepeatable. I never got the Byrds comparisons. They don’t sound anything like the Byrds to me. The ending backing vocals and the middle breakdown are two other highlights of this song. The video is amazing and an example of what great things people can do when limitations, such as the technology of low budget videos in the 80s, are imposed on them.

The Softies – Favorite Shade of Blue

This song is all ache and longing and regret and major 7th chords. Rose’s voice is my platonic ideal of what a female singer should sound like, at least when it comes to indie stuff.


Jeanines – Things Are Gonna Change

These guys are the greatest indiepop band since Aislers Set. That’s a bold statement but I stand by it, I think. This is a fitting song for the recent news out of US politics.

Rocketship – I Just Can’t Get Enough of You

It’s always so great when a band you loved growing up comes back and they’re as good or better than ever. Sugar-spun sparkly diamond noise love static pop. (Sometimes I kinda suck at writing about music).

Boy Pablo – Losing You

My daughter introduced me to Boy Pablo, and he’s superb! Like his fellow Norwegian Sondre Lerche he seems to have been influenced by 80s sophistipop like Prefab Sprout, but with a touch more youthful exuberance, and a bit of Mac Demarco, maybe?

Starry Eyed Cadet  – Sugar

This is a band out of San Francisco that write amazing, sophisticated, somewhat retro-ish indiepop music with beautiful vocals. This one just kinda chokes me up sometimes because I know the singer and her husband (the drummer in the band) and it’s just such a sweet love song. It’s sweet and simple without being overly sentimental. Everyone that’s been in love can relate to this one, I think.

Needs Help is out now. Look HERE for more information on The Very Most.


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