- David Bentley
Jesse Markin - Counting Money on a Sunday (single)
All sorts of artists pass through these pages but I don’t think we’ve ever had a Liberian-born Finn before. Jesse Markin didn’t feel at home in a small village where he stood out and couldn’t reconcile himself to Finnish being his native language.
So he turned to English and found escapism in US hip-hop and American TV and Movies, developing a fascination for U.S. rappers, and later spending years as a member of the hip-hop group The Megaphone State.
But he didn’t permit himself to be constrained by genre limitations, developing a style of his own which embraces elements of indie-pop, Rap, RnB and African folk. I’m glad the press release told me because I wouldn’t have had a clue as to how to describe his style.
I’ve never heard anything like it before and what really catches your attention is an odd beat which causes the track to appear skip occasionally as if the needle hit a scratch mark on the vinyl. I’d like to know what the time signature is; it’s like something out of 1970’s prog. Meanwhile, the bass sounds like it’s in competition with all the other instruments; winner takes all. I doubt it was meant to be an anthem but that’s how it comes across.
Lyrically, ‘Counting Money on a Sunday’ is a vehicle by which he can rage against the machine of capitalism. He says “Capitalism is a machine that protects those that feed it but also a machine that creates chaos. This year we were able to witness this very closely as the world was fighting the global pandemic”. Then, “The rich isolated themselves while the rest were left to face their worst fears just because the machine cannot stop.
Thankfully the Capitalist machine that is Pfizer did keep going and develop a vaccine in super quick time, with support from their government. And thinking about it, Prince Charles with all his castles could be classed as rich, along with most world leaders and politicians - even Tom Hanks got it, and he‘s definitely has a few bob these days. So I could debate the finer points with him, but there’s no doubting it’s a very original song.
Having released his debut album ‘FOLK’ in May 2019, Jesse has won ‘Newcomer of the Year’ and the Critics’ choice Award at the Finnish Grammys, and performed at various festivals throughout Northern Europe.
Currently he is working on his second full length with his producer Totte Rautiainen, which is set to be released in spring 2021.
‘Counting Money on a Sunday’ was released on December 4th, 2020 via VILD Recordings and Pop-Up Records.
Find him on Facebook or Instagram.