Joshua Jesty
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Joshua Jesty

Cleveland, Ohio, United States | SELF

Cleveland, Ohio, United States | SELF
Band Pop Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"shout out from all around great guy/blooger Matt Wardlaw"

The music of Joshua Jesty caught my attention on an otherwise typically cold night here in Cleveland, a couple of years ago. Since then, I've been listening, and keeping an ear trained waiting to hear what Joshua would come up with next. "Girl" is that long awaited present, and follows through on the initial sounds that made my ears perk up and take notice. As a record, I keep going back to "Girl" over and over again, and if you're kind enough to lend your ears for a similar listen, I think you'll hear what I'm hearing too! "Girl" is in my opinion, one of the best albums of 2009, and I hope that the world will take notice of it.

-Matt Wardlaw
The Inner Sanctum co-host, Radio 92.3 F.M., Cleveland
Editor-in-Chief, Addicted to Vinyl - addicted to vinyl

"shout out from my dude Michael Flynn"

"Leave it to Joshua Jesty to create incredibly sophisticated songs that
are underpinned by the most simple and satisfying of pop instincts. <The
New Record> is the musical equivalent of Bernini making sculptural
masterpieces out of 3 colors of 'Play Dough'."

Michael Flynn of Slow Runner
- MIchael Flynn


Cleveland has a reputation for being a sort of American cultural black hole, but like a lot of bad reputations, it isn’t entirely deserved: having spent an enjoyable February weekend in the city, I can vouch for its ability to charm even under sheets of freezing rain. And then there’s Joshua Jesty, the Cleveland-based artist whose new album, Girl, is the best release from an unsigned artist I’ve heard all year.

I didn’t think I’d feel this way at first — Girl bursts out of the gates with “Somebody Worth Hurting,” a dramatic, nicely tension-filled chunk of ’90s-style alt-pop that’s heavy with the sort of tuneful self-loathing people couldn’t get enough of 15 years ago. I wasn’t one of those people, so although “Hurting” is undeniably well-crafted, I wasn’t expecting to get anything more than a mildly pleasurable case of déjà vu out of the album. I mean…bright pop hooks mixed with lyrics like “you’re somebody worth hurting” — it really wasn’t that long ago that we couldn’t escape from this stuff, was it?

Well, no. But most of it wasn’t anywhere near as smart and tuneful as Girl, an album that blends classic pop songcraft with the lo-fi energy of the ’90s flannel brigade without sacrificing the kind of subtly layered production that turns an album into an honest-to-gosh listening experience. It’s that craft that sets Girl apart, as well as Jesty’s gift for knowing how to walk the line between making an arrangement interesting and letting it become overbearing. He doesn’t go overboard with effects here — the drums are nicely dry and punchy throughout — but he does make it clear plenty of thought went into each recording, adding headphone touches, like the shakers on “You Make Me Feel Like Dying,” while making good use of space and atmospherics, as shown with the warm washes of synths that add haunting heft to “I’m Not Worried.”

All of this wouldn’t mean as much if Jesty weren’t a razor-sharp songwriter — and confident enough in his songs to let them take their time sneaking up on you — but Girl showcases a mature, thoughtful talent that’s as comfortable with the quiet and somewhat abstract (“From Invisible” contrasts a nifty bass line with a lead guitar that descends, skitters, bends, and echoes back on itself) with the wonderfully bombastic (“One Night Fall” is built out of a twisting network of vocals that eventually burst over an instrumental background that swells in a pleading cacophony). Jesty also understands the art of mixing things up — sixth track “Some Other Someone” offers a quiet interlude with one vocal and a nylon-stringed guitar, and “Don’t Make Me Fall for You” blossoms out of a drum machine program and guitar track that sound like Joy Division crossed with Paul Simon’s Graceland, eventually broadcasting a test pattern riff over beautiful, chiming rhythm guitars and a plangent melody.

The marketplace for digitally distributed DIY singer/songwriters gets more crowded every week, and Jesty’s more than got his work cut out for him when it comes to cutting through the static and finding his audience — especially way the hell out in Cleveland. But if you love a good love song, do yourself a favor and check out his wares at MySpace and YouTube. Or hey, do us all a favor and just buy the damn album — you get the thrill of fishing in the digital flood and picking out a winner, and odds are it’s better than whatever you’re listening to right now.
- popdose review

"shout out from my pal Jonah Bayer"

"Joshua Jesty's 'Girl' fills the void between Sun Kil Moon and Built To Spill via a varied collection of indie-inspired songs that should propel him out of the Midwest and into the spotlight."

-Jonah Bayer, former Music Editor at Alternative Press and current contributor to AP, Revolver, Inked & Fuse Television - jonah bayer

"shout out from my friend Joshua Epstein"

Joshua Jesty has progressed beyond the confines of being the front man in a rock band and made a soulful, honest and intimate recording. His voice is tender and true and the songwriting is quite innovative while still rooted in the progressive rock traditions of the 1980's and 1990's. It is wonderful to hear such honest promise

- Joshua Epstein Singer/Songwriter for the Silent Years/dale earnhart jr jr. - joshua epstein

"wildys world review"

Joshua Jesty continues to churn out quirky and significant left-of-the-dial pop music that is worth taking some time to become acquainted with -

"Music Rambles Review"

Joshua Jesty
Finally, Joshua Jesty Is Famous All the Hits: Volume 15

Links: Oh-fish-ul website


There’s so many different flavors on Joshua Jesty’s (of This is Exploding) solo release you gotta lick each song a couple times and take a good swig of water before the next to get the full effect. These songs stretch out over a span of six years, and just as one goes through different phases throughout that amount of time so does the music on “Finally, Joshua Jesty is Famous All the Hits: Volume 15”.
The first track, "The Master’s Back" invokes fuzzy memories of the Beastie Boys early stuff complete with that charming “wheeet wheee wheeet” thing white rappers do with their mouth.

"Monday Up In Flames" and it’s dejected chorus immediately bring to mind the sucky after school she-didn’t-notice-me-today gloom of male adolescence, while it’s successor "The One Inside Your Head" is completely opposite, the skipping heartbeats of a boy who’s finally found that carefree giddy love.

Whether he be jamming on the cowbell (I do believe I hear some in "Junk Your Head"!) or keeping it simple on the guitar the constant in Jesty's music is his poem-like lyrics, especially on tracks like "Stephanie", "She Changed (To Feel Good)", and "That’s When She Smiles" -- all quieter gems on the twenty-one track album.

Even though Jesty’s been in music for several years and in almost as many bands it seems like his soul is still unscathed by the absurdity of the business aspect of music and he’s offering up his full record for free download on his site. But it’s not this fact alone that makes him unpretentious, it’s the moments on Finally like "Bad German Techno" (which sounds exactly like bad German techno) where he’s just doing his thing, whatever it was at that moment, and sharing it with whomever cares to listen.


"i rock cleveland review"

While Cleveland's This Is Exploding are still working on their second disc, guitarist and vocalist, Joshua Jesty has released upon the unsuspecting denizens of the internets, loads of solo material, under the title Finally Joshua Jesty Is Famous, All The Hits, Vol. 15. Many of the cuts feature a quieter and more intimate style than the ballistic and bombastic This Is Exploding, giving the listener an opportunity to really dig into the emotional qualities of Jesty's words and voice.

A clear standout on Finally Joshua Jesty is the reserved and brooding number, "This Town Is Quicksand." Singing with a hush, and backed with an accoustic guitar, the occasional muted electric guitar, and some simple beats, Joshua Jesty voices sentiments of loss, isolation, and helplessness -- feelings familiar to any young man living in an old rust belt town, as he watches opportunity pass him by.

Joshua Jesty - This Town Is Quicksand [ download]

The entire 21 song set is available for download at Joshua Jesty's website. If you look what you hear, consider tossing a couple bucks in the digital equivalent of the open his guitar case, paypal.

"Wildy's World Record Review"

Joshua Jesty – Finally, Joshua Jesty Is Famous, All The Hits, Volume 15
2008, Joshua Jesty

Your first impression of Joshua Jesty might be that he’s a funny guy. To look at the title of his CD or listen to the first track, a rap tune called The Master’s Back, you’d expect he’s a novelty act. Far from it. Jesty is a brooding songwriter who plays in dark and sometimes muddy tones until he finds a seam of beauty and then he rides it for all its worth. Jesty has an album of 21 songs called Finally, Joshua Jesty Is Famous, All The Hits: Volume 15. You can’t buy the album in stores, but you can download all of the songs off his webpage. Jesty has a unique set of payment options. You can donate to him what you think the album is worth, if you’re broke you can forward the page to however many people you think it’s worth ($10=10 people), or you can donate to a charity and tell him about it.

So Joshua Jesty is unique, but what about the music? Take a look at the epic that is The River Curves, comparing the curves of a river to those of a beloved. The tune sounds like something Radiohead might have written, and has a very repressed sadness that underlies it. The quasi-Lo-Fi sound helps in setting this mood, as does the layer guitar/piano/bass wall of sound Jesty captures on the disc. Jesty’s website says he wrote it while going to the bathroom. Just thought you’d like to know. Stephanie is another song full of regret, balancing its sweetness with controlled fear.

My favorite song here is Ms. Closed Off. It’s a great Matchbox 20 style song. Very musically interesting and introspective; A quiet opening turns into a heavy guitar motif that is very tuneful and full of great, mellow hooks. This song has commercial potential; I could see it placed in a movie or television soundtrack with great ease. Junk Your Head is a great rocking tune with angular guitar work and frenetic energy. The song is part punk and part pop and would do well on radio. Other highlights include Turf The Law, The One Inside Your head, Get To You and That’s When She Smiles.

Joshua Jesty is refreshing. There are no pop filters here. No distinct attempts to be commercial. Joshua Jesty captures the innate sense of musical creation. He’s writing for himself, not pop radio. The results are mixed. A handful of the 21 tracks offered here are sketchbook material. Most of them are good to really good listening material, but there are three or four tracks on the CD with significant potential. The willingness to create for himself and not take himself too seriously bodes well for Joshua Jesty. The results of his writing and performance make for good (and sometimes great) listening. I suspect these abilities will grow over time and he will become a complete songwriter (with a slightly warped world view). Finally, Joshua Jesty Is Famous, All The Hits: Volume 15 might just be prophetic.

Rating: 3.5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Joshua Jesty, download Finally, Joshua Jesty Is Famous, All The Hits: Volume 15, get a free monthly song fix, or learn the neurotic impact of having your birthday be two days before Christmas at Be sure to check it out. This guy really is quite entertaining. -


this is a partial discography, for full list of releases (all of which can be streamed) please see

- Portugal (full length)

- a minute (13 songs that are each a minute long)

- Girl (full length hailed as "the best indie release I've heard all year" by Jeff Giles at

- Finally, Joshua Jesty is famous, all the hits: volume 15 (full length)



Joshua Jesty is a professional starving artist based out of Cleveland Ohio. He has been making music that people have been writing nice things about since 1998's "more songs about the reproductive cycle".

now a days he dances salsa, kicks doctors, and makes tons of pop and un-pop music.

His latest release is "portugal". He lives with no regrets and his rabbit Hazel in a physical house.

Currently he has formed a new live band called "the Universe doesn't stand a chance against Joshua Jesty" which he plans to debut in the spring of 2012 as well as a series of singles and EPs.

let's let the music (and his funny cartoons and videos) do the talking