After an atypical quiet lull over the past two years, Jeremy Messersmith has reemerged and is ready to… well, stay pretty quiet, it seems.
The cult-loved Minneapolis singer/songwriter dropped a new song under a new name with a hushed electro-pop vibe over the weekend. He’s calling this new project Mixtape for the Milky Way, and the plan is for it to release one song every week or so between now and February via Bandcamp and Facebook.
“This is a much more inward facing and non-fiction project than my typical kind of release,” Messersmith explained via e-mail, adding that there’s no record label involved nor any plans (yet) to release a full album. “It’s more for the digital ecosystem.”
The first song under the new banner, “No Sidewalks” (posted below), is rather dark and evocative compared to Messersmith’s poppy norm; sort of a shady blend of the Postal Service and the National. Sample lyrics: “Every night I have a dream / Where I’m running through the streets / With a can of gasoline / And a lit match in my teeth / Singing “what a neighborhood!”
Messersmith’s longtime cohort John Mark Nelson — who’s been living in Los Angeles of late and working with Dan Wilson — served as Messersmith’s main collaborator on Mixtape for the Milky Way, although this first track was produced by another Wilson cohort, Brian Brundage.
Early in the quarantine this past spring, Messersmith was one of the first known local figures to be tested for COVID-19. He turned up virus-free, thankfully, but then had to postpone the 10th anniversary concerts for his “Reluctant Graveyard” album and many other gigs. His last record was 2018’s rather prophetically titled “Late Stage Capitalism.”
Messersmith is finally stepping out again with a low-capacity show next Tuesday at Twin Spirits Distillery (already sold out). Stay tuned for the second track from his new project later this week.