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Calling Todd Kessler a singer/songwriter simply wouldn’t do him justice. The rising folk-rock star is the consummate storyteller, with a remarkable ability to take listeners on a winding, wonderful, and introspective journey through the depths of the human experience.
Kessler’s highly anticipated new album, About Memory, was released on November 3, 2017. The album finds Kessler going back to his roots, producing a timeless folk sound with hints of alt-rock and classic Americana.
Recorded in Los Angeles at New Monkey Studio (made famous by Elliot Smith), About Memory was produced by Marc Daniel Nelson (Fleetwood Mac, Colbie Caillat) and Ran Jackson (Katy Perry, Goo Goo Dolls) and mastered by Eric Boulanger, who has worked with industry titans like Adele, Green Day, and Neil Young.
“When a songwriter can tell a story that is specific to them, yet allows the listener to hear him or herself in it, that’s the pinnacle for me,” shares Kessler.
To date, Kessler has released two singles from About Memory: “Old Fashioned Way” and “The Letter.”
Born and raised in the Chicago suburbs, Kessler graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in Music Theory and Composition. Shortly after graduating, he released his first LP, We Are the Musicmakers. In 2012, Kessler formed Todd Kessler and The New Folk, and they released their first album, Sea Fever, which was produced by Manny Sanchez (Patrick Stump, Umphrees McGee). The album’s release was supported with a lengthy residency at Schubas Tavern, but as it happened, Kessler missed part of the residency when he was chosen as part of Team Ceelo on NBC’s The Voice.
Gaining exposure from The Voice, Todd Kessler and the New Folk began touring more, playing festivals like Summerfest, Taste of Chicago and Mile of Music. Between 2013 and 2015, the band worked on new material and released two singles: “Exactly Where I Should Be” and “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.” But, as members of the New Folk began getting married and having children, life on the road became arduous. Eventually, the New Folk agreed to a break, disbanding indefinitely to spend time with their families.
Influenced by artists like Paul Simon, Fleetwood Mac, Ryan Adams and David Gray, Kessler continues to evolve into the bold storyteller he’s always wanted to be.“I like to call myself a realistic optimist,” says Kessler. “I will always tend to see the bright side of things but don’t shy away when things get real.”
“Sophisticated and soulful pop”
Grandsons of jazz and “Batman” composer Neal Hefti, we’re a Chicago band making music that reviews have called “sophisticated and soulful pop” with “gorgeous harmonies.” Our relationship is filled with laughter, resentments, mind-sharing, and brick walls. Together, we aim to make music for both the head and the heart.
Jesse, oldest: songs, vocals, guitar.
Josh, middle: songs, vocals, keyboard, drums, guitar, production, mixing.
Gabe, youngest: bass, plus really good ice cream.
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