Will Schube keeps a Dublab sticker on his truck.
Oftentimes, who or what inspires an artist is a good indication of their sound. Jesse Schuster, who makes music under the name Safe Jazz, is one such artist. Originally from Minnesota, Schuster moved to Los Angeles after he realized Stones Throw, Dublab, and Low End Theory all have one thing in common: they’re based in the City of Angels. Before he headed west, though, Schuster was a staple in Minneapolis’ indie rock scene, concocting a delirious blend of hip-hop, jazz, pop, and punk while simultaneously playing in a number of projects. With his solo work, he chopped samples and regurgitated them in whatever way he saw fit, using his skills as a bassist to add heft and melody to his compositions.
As Safe Jazz, he operates in a similar way, but there’s a depth and intellectualism to his work that comes with experience and confidence. Since settling in LA, Schuster has played with Chrome Canyon, Tickle Torture, Model Child, and Harriet Brown, in addition to starting Full Screen Mode, an event that showcases music videos from local artists. Schuster is not only finding a home in LA, but creating a world, through his own music, Full Screen Mode, and Pop Can Records, the label he’s starting and releasing Sigh on. That album, which POW is thrilled to premiere below, is both empathetic and challenging―the work of an artist relentless in his pursuit of a music that reflects the world surrounding him. Better than my words, though, here’s what Schuster has to say about the album:
Most of my music career is collaboration. But Safe Jazz is my world where I digest all my influences and make something that is most personal to me. My new record as Safe Jazz, Sigh represents songs written over the last two years. The process has shifted from sample collage to electronic composition, adding flourishes of live brass and strings, featuring different artists in the ensemble on each song. Compared to the lightheartedness of Joy, Etc., the six songs on Sigh are reflective and outward-looking. It’s a melancholy exhale as I process this modern era.
Stream the album below, and look out for more Pop Can releases later this year and into 2021.