With the heat of summer in full swing, the next stage of Secondhand Serenade’s saga is gearing up for release. Those familiar with the words of John Vesely, the man behind Secondhand Serenade, have lived through his picturesque stories of life’s ups and downs – from the act’s acoustic debut, Awake, to the fuller, and more emotionally complex sounds of 2008’s sophomore A Twist In My Story. Fans have gravitated to John’s heart-on-his sleeve approach and are consistently moved by his tales of life, love and loss that foster universal understanding. Along this journey, A Twist In My Story spawned the platinum-certified top 10 CHR Top 40 hit “Fall For You.” The song also reached No. 21 on the prestigious Billboard Hot 100. With the release of Hear Me Now, Secondhand Serenade’s third studio release for Glassnote Records, he gives a more in-depth look inside a man coming to terms with his shortcomings and moving forward with that understanding.
“I pushed myself harder than I ever have and made a record I am really proud of. The rest belongs to faith and the fans,” Vesely offers. Those fans won’t be disappointed with this 11 track opus. Packed with tales of enlightenment, he carries us through the realization that he has made mistakes along life’s journey and though not perfect, he refuses to beat himself up over those missteps. Vesely instead chooses to take pleasure in the joys, hopes and dreams that he has fulfilled and move forward while embracing all the riches life has to offer.
Stepping up his game, John’s growth as a writer and musician shines throughout his third release. Growth spurts are evident on such tracks as the haunting first single “Something More,” which he co-produced with drummer Tom Breyfogle and is mixed by Mark Endert (Train, Maroon 5). A fuller, richer sound has emerged via bits of electronic pop meshed with the rock sounds and signature powerful and emotive vocals that are this prolific storyteller’s distinctive mark. Working with producer Aaron Johnson (The Fray) on all but the three tracks he self-produced, Vesely has crafted a much more mature record. “Reflecting and changing, re-examining everything” as he puts it, are common themes that resonate through on such tracks as “Distance,” “Stay Away” and “You & I” or in the heartfelt “Nightmares” and “World Turns,”” about confronting one’s demons and asking for forgiveness, while finding and embracing happiness on “So Long.”
Over the past five years, Secondhand Serenade has grown and evolved from the act’s grassroots approach that earned it the coveted No. 1 spot on MySpace’s unsigned artist ranking for months on end. John admits that all artists “hope for people to understand [their art] and appreciate it, and continually be affected by it. I want this to be my career for the rest of my life. I want to be a career artist.” As with all great singer/songwriters, he leaves you yearning for more and waiting for his next step. Secondhand Serenade’s Hear Me Now is calling to be heard.