From the psychedelic, carnivalesque album cycle that arrived with Junior Mesa’s new EP Cirque Du Freak to the music itself, there’s a sense of queasiness that the artist explains was inspired by an unfortunate side effect of a nerve cell disorder best described on one of the releases’s singles. “In ‘Listen Close,’ I compare music to a toxic relationship,” he shares. “I have struggled with epilepsy the past couple of years, trying new medications and dosages and pretty consistently feeling very sick and depressed, which affected the thing I love most: music.”
It feels like a breath of fresh air, then, to watch Mesa perform this track from the desert locale of Joshua Tree, where the songwriter recorded his “Neighborhoods” set on a break from filming a music video with his girlfriend (look out for that video on August 30). Standing outside on their Airbnb’s balcony, Mesa battles strong winds, which provide a comic interlude to his acoustic rendition of “Listen Close.” Watch it below.