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Listening to Mint Juleps, the fifth album by two-time Juno Award nominee Jeremy Fisher, is like ambling through the long and relaxed dog days of summer. The acoustic-driven collection of 12 songs reunites Fisher with his folk-drenched musical roots and is a veritable throwback to the golden era of the singer-songwriter.
An ode to the glory of the record as a whole, the sophistication of Mint Juleps is in its inherent simplicity. Recorded live off the studio floor, this decidedly unembellished method of capturing the songs was a challenge for Fisher, but it was also a liberating experience.
In between the interpretations of songs by the likes of Greg Brown, Jean Leloup, and Lowest of the Low are a mélange of songs penned by Fisher that capture him at his absolute finest.
"Built To Last" is a catchy parable of taking care of oneself and the world at large by embracing a simple kind of life. It's a pointed message for the current political landscape set to an irresistible toe-tapping melody.
The trademark whimsy and wit of Fisher's lyricism drives songs like "Tetris Song" where he creates perhaps his sweetest love song yet through the not-so-obviously romantic metaphor of a mathematic equation.
Then again, Jeremy Fisher has never really been one to build his career by travelling down the most obvious - or easiest - paths. His commitment to touring by bike is a case in point.
Since 1998 he has completed the journey across North America an astonishing three time, and in 2010 he launched a unique tour of the west coast called The Malahat Revue with fellow artists Said the Whale, Hannah Georgas, and Aidan Knight. Together, they travelled by bike with gear in tow, and pedaled roughly 500km across British Columbia.
That sort of DIY attitude that infuses Fisher's touring ethos replicates itself in the strong visual component of his music. Having become renowned for his hand-crafted music videos, he has produced animated works for artists including Adam Cohen, Hannah Georgas, Xavier Rudd, and Hawksley Workman.
Call him a renaissance man, or even a modern-day folk hero. Whatever you call him, it's clear that Jeremy Fisher is bringing back the nearly forgotten art of making a great record from start to finish, and forging a career path that is built to endure.