jeremy messersmith announces new album, puts 'Purple Hearts' on display

jeremy messersmith - 'Late Stage Capitalism'
The cover of jeremy messersmith's album 'Late Stage Capitalism' (Courtesy jeremy messersmith)
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  • jeremy messersmith discusses "Purple Hearts" on Oake and Riley in the Morning 04:47

So: jeremy messersmith's "Purple Hearts" is not necessarily a happy song. "But he's fresh off his Obscenely Optimistic album, right?" you may ask. "It's probably about his love for Prince?"

Nope. As the story goes, "Purple Hearts" actually predates 11 Obscenely Optimistic Songs for Ukulele. So does the rest of the album messersmith was working on in 2016: Late Stage Capitalism. After the last presidential election, he set that project aside to spread some ukulele-centered community cheer.

Late Stage Capitalism is back, and it's planned for a March 9 release via Glassnote Records. (The New York label also delivering messersmith's Heart Murmurs in 2014.) And it's available for pre-order, insta-giving you "Purple Hearts" upon your order.

Back to the single. "Purple Hearts" is not exactly cheery; in a press release, messersmith called it "a song about two people on opposite sides of a cultural divide, who are experiencing the loneliness and disconnection of modern society in the form of the worst first date of all time." In order to offset to misery, he says, "I went full Bacharach [...] and coated the song with a generous layer of 1960s orchestral schmaltz, which I find irresistibly euphoric." In the midst of the swirling thrill ride, you almost expect someone to chime in with the "bah, bah, bah"s from "Sweet Caroline."

messersmith is booked for a big show at First Avenue on March 30 (The Current's presale password will be available here on the morning of Feb. 15). Before then, you can see him at the Big Turn Music Fest in Red Wing, Minn. on Feb. 17. He'll also perform at the Minnesota Orchestra's Symphony Ball on May 12.

Late Stage Capitalism track list:

Side A
1. Purple Hearts
2. Monday, You're Not So Bad
3. All The Cool Girls
4. Postmodern Girl
5. Happy

Side B
6. Don't Call It Love
7. Fast Times in Minnesota
8. Jim Bakker
9. Fireflower
10. Once You Get To Know Us
11. No Superheroes In Cleveland

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