From the uplifting opening track “Someone Somewhere” through reflective closer “The End,” singer/songwriter Jason Reeves’ forthcoming album The Magnificent Adventures of Heartache (and Other Frightening Tales) takes listeners on a contemplative journey of love, hope, heartbreak and renewal. Originally only available online and at his shows, the album’s beauty and raw honesty connected with listeners and earned a “Top Folk Album of 2007” distinction from iTunes, which also named Reeves one of the Top Indie Singer-Songwriters of that year. Now signed to Warner Bros. Records, which will widely-distribute his album for the first time, Jason’s own story continues, one that remains as pure as his outlook on life and music as it ever was.
Self-taught on the guitar, Reeves began his own musical adventure as a teenager when he discovered the works of folk legends Bob Dylan and James Taylor. Transformed, Reeves spent the next few years honing his own writing skills before dropping out of college and moving West to California to pursue his music full time.
Now 23, Reeves paints beautifully sophisticated portraits of some of life’s most vulnerable, yet exhilarating moments. “Reaching” for example, ponders the question of whether to abandon caution and the familiar in order to plunge headlong into the risk and potential reward of the unknown. “Pretty Eyes”, meanwhile, idealizes the utopian moments in life when one is in love, while “Never Find Again” reminds us that perfection is all-too-fleeting.
Perhaps most striking is that Reeves accomplishes this with memorable melodies and radio-ready hooks that seamlessly complement his warm vocals. With a range of subjects from the feel-good love anthem “You In A Song” to the dreaded but familiar feeling of being told a lover wants to be “Just Friends,” all of Reeves’ music is instantly relatable, and it is that accessibility that is rapidly winning Jason legions of new fans.
The spiritual Iowan, for his part, refuses to take the credit insisting, “All songs exist in the atmosphere, and artists are on a romantic search to pull them down and give them life.” And despite a busy tour schedule that includes sold-out performances at venues such as Hollywood’s Hotel Café, Reeves is giving life to lot of songs these days, both for himself as well as others. “Whether you are writing for a girl or a guy, you have to capture the voice of the artist singing,” says Reeves.
One voice Jason has successfully captured is that of Colbie Caillat, who happened to be the second person he met upon arriving in California. During a recording session with producer Mikal Blue, Reeves met Colbie, (whose father, Ken, is Blue’s studio partner and co-producer of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors) and an immediate friendship began.
The Reeves-Caillat-Blue trio soon became inseparable: writing songs and recording together every chance they had. “Mikal and Colbie were the only people I knew in LA,” Reeves says. “We spent a lot of time together, just going to the beach, the mountains, the woods, playing guitar and writing songs.” The songs, inspired by the beauty of the California Coast, formed the foundation for Reeves’ first EP Hearts Are Magnets, as well as Caillat’s breakthrough (and nearly double-platinum) album Coco, on which Reeves co-wrote the majority of tracks including the multi-format smash singles “Bubbly” and “Realize.”
The son of a Maytag worker and a food stylist, Reeves’ songwriting sensibility harkens back to a time when people wrote “Old-Fashioned Letters” and employed a more poetic way of expressing feelings. Reeves, part of a new generation of musicians reminiscent of the 1970’s Laurel Canyon scene, balances his romantic sentiments with raw hurt on a number of tracks where a relationship goes bad and his lover commits the ultimate sin, striking a match “as she is covering my heart with ‘Gasoline.’”
Subject matter that resonates deeply, hook-filled melodies and Jason’s unmistakable vocals caused Reeves’ music to instantly engage the MySpace community and propelled him to #1 on the MySpace Folk chart (unsigned) for nine months prior to his record deal and kept him consistently in the Top Five Acoustic (unsigned) and Top 20 Overall (unsigned) categories. But with the story exploding on a daily basis, the reserved Iowan takes it all in stride: “I’m just a simple boy that believes in love and dreams.”