David Vertesi

Indie

Review

All Music

You might not imagine that playing bass for Hey Ocean! would be a promising training ground for a singer and songwriter, but David Vertesi, who has been holding down that position for some time now, turns out to have some skills he hasn’t revealed in his work with the group. Vertesi‘s first solo album, Cardiography, is an intelligent and introspective collection of tunes about affairs of the heart, accompanied by a spare, evocative production informed by lo-fi pop rather than Hey Ocean!‘s playful light funk. While Vertesi has a sure hand with a melody, these songs are often downbeat even as they’re tuneful and inviting, and the melodies are a good match for the lyrics, which often concern the many ways relationships can go wrong and the emotional flotsam they leave in their wake. While some tunes are cloudy with a playful edge (such as “Gentlemen Say”), more often songs like “Learn to Run” and “Hearts Don’t Break, People Do” are quiet, thoughtful meditations on failed love affairs and the damage suffered by all parties involved. This is a far cry from Vertesi‘s work with Hey Ocean!, and he’s to be commended for making a solo album that he clearly could not have recorded within the context of his band, but sometimes he seems to be reaching a bit too far as he examines the dour side of his nature. These songs are sincere and honestly felt, but the relentless focus on heartache gets to be a bit much by the time the album draws to a close, despite the strength of Vertesi‘s songs and the clever, sympathetic production by Jose Miguel Contreras. Vertesi may have recorded Cardiography to get away from this band’s slightly forced cheerfulness, and this music sounds like it comes from the heart, but the message is a shade monotonous after 42 minutes, though there’s no denying this is a promising solo debut and Vertesi is a songwriter worth watching in the future.

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Biography

Although best known as part of the Vancouver indie pop group, Hey Ocean!, it is quickly becoming clear that David Vertesi will not be restrained by the straight jacket hold of a single genre, band or sound. Having toured coast to coast countless times, his range is as varied as the artists he collaborates with: from Ontario’s underground rap sensation Shad K and indie-rock veteran Jose Miguel Contreras (By Divine Right) to BC’s indie-pop songstress Hannah Georgas and the over the top garage-synth antics of Topless Gay Love Tekno Party.

In keeping with his reputation for being as hardworking as he is talented, Vertesi has recently completed his debut solo album, Cardiography. And make no mistake it is a substantial drop in a musical bucket on the verge of overflowing.

Released on October 26th through File Under:Music (Dan Mangan, Kathryn Calder), Cardiography is a concept driven album about learning to love – what one would assume is well-worn territory, however despite the potential for cliché Vertesi’s refreshing frankness (Gentlemen Say) and often-painful sincerity (Mountainside) steer this record clear of anything banal or ordinary.

His songs highlight the many (and sometimes contradictory) sides of love and like his subject matter, Vertesi manages to be as tragic as he is playful, as refreshing as he is familiar and as spontaneous as he is deliberate. His lyrics give simple yet careful depictions of enduring love (All Night, All Night, All Night) and relentless doubt (Hearts Don’t Break, People Do), while his low and consoling vocals seem to reassure us that one inevitably leads to the other.

In the spirit of artists such as Leonard Cohen, Hayden or David Bazan, he conveys an honesty that echoes through your head long after your first listen and pulls you back with force. Vertesi is a consummate songwriter and musician and though he pays subtle homage to his influences, he seems to carve out a welcomed place for his own distinct sound.

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Biography

Although best known as part of the Vancouver indie pop group, Hey Ocean!, it is quickly becoming clear that David Vertesi will not be restrained by the straight jacket hold of a single genre, band or sound. Having toured coast to coast countless times, hi...

Read Full Bio

Review

All Music You might not imagine that playing bass for Hey Ocean! would be a promising training ground for a singer and songwriter, but David Vertesi, who has been holding down that position for some time now, turns out to have some skills he hasn’t ...

Read Full Review

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