Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording by Ian Harris, Video By Jake Lyle, Words by Landon Kuhlmann
Folk and Country fall a little bit short in describing Jacob Thomas Jr.'s music. It might be better described with one of his song titles, "Whiskey Rollercoaster." These songs have an attitude and grit to them (his upcoming album is titled Electric Sex) but they can also turn tender within the course of a verse. It's an uninhibited (and definitely inebriated) trip through one man's whiskey-addled mind, replete with acutely observant thoughts and grand, emotional statements. It sounds, almost literally, like a Whiskey Rollercoaster.
I do believe that the word "cool" can be used legitimately in describing music. I don't mean "cool" in the of corny, overt try-hard kind of way that most people think of when you use that word today. I mean cool as a mood, as a method of delivery. Think of the steam rising from a huge chunk of ice, and the way the wind might blow it in calm circles around the air. Then put sunglasses on it. That's what I mean. And Jacob Thomas is cool in that way, or his music is. The calm intensity of his cadence allows him to sing songs about our greatest vices (lust, drinking, recreational drug use) and still come back around to sing a heartfelt song about love and its confusing fine print. Sometimes being too cool can make your songwriting less believable, but with Jacob Thomas Jr. the opposite is true: all of this comes together to be quite believable, and often comforting.
In this session, Jacob plays an exclusive song that isn't recorded anywhere else. "Strangers in Love" contains the same duality that piqued my interest in "Whiskey Rollercoaster." My English minor might be showing a bit here but stick with me and observe just the title alone. It's probably a phrase you've heard before, but don't let that make you think there isn't something to it. This could be two strangers who are in fact in love. That's sweet. Or it could be less sweet: that love is a place, and these people are strangers to it. By the end of the song, we still don't know. But we did go on some sort of a ride, at least.
Jacob Thomas Jr. Official Site