Following the runaway success of his sophomore release CLAIM, one-time bluesman turned millennial blue-eyed soul wunderkind Jesper Munk presents his breakthrough third album Favourite Stranger, along with lead single “Happy When I'm Blue” and striking preview track “Stranger”
Jesper Munk returns with Favourite Stranger, a new album that both cements his place as one of the brightest musical innovators in the German pop-rock milieu and will no doubt serve as a long-awaited introduction to an international audience. For Munk, the release of Favourite Stranger marks that rarest of moments for a young artist: a genuine creative breakthrough. Where both 2016's CLAIM and his 2013 debut For In My Way it Lies sought to pay homage to the blues masters that inspired him to pick up a guitar in the first place, as well as contemporaries such as the Black Keys and Gary Clark Jr, Favourite Stranger represents the outcome of his mission to rip it up and start again – and in so doing offers an intimate portrait of the artist as a young man, by turns more honest, vulnerable and exposed, and at the same time more musically outward-looking and authentic than anything else he has ever recorded.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in lead single “Happy When I'm Blue”. Demonstrating Munk's newfound talent for stripped-back white boy soul, it announces itself with an infectious string motif that immediately captures his new musical direction and the familiar quandary at the centre of the song – the point at which a young romantic realises that the joy and exhilaration of love, and the pain of heartbreak and longing are more or less indistinguishable. 'It's about being honest with yourself,' says Munk. 'Because in the end, for some people at least, there's a certain sense of melancholy that you kind of enjoy when you look back on it.'
And it is this theme that Munk builds upon, in song after song, throughout Favourite Stranger. Is it possible to be happy and blue at the same time? Or, what happens the day after all the late hours options have been exhausted? In this vein, preview track “Stranger” is the ideal prelude to the album. Showcasing both Munk's unmistakable vocals and his defiant new musical direction: the work of an artist with the confidence and purpose to bring together his roots with the disparate strands of contemporary R&B, soul and off-kilter pop. “Stranger” swims into the mind like some lost jam from Jeff Buckley's Sketches For My Sweetheart the Drunk, and stays there long enough for you to want to know exactly what happens next.
Favourite Stranger track list
3. Happy When I'm Blue
6. Cruel Love
7. Deeper Into Care
9. Slow Down
“Favourite Stranger” is available as CD, LP & Download as well as from all streaming platforms.
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