As a music blogger (and lover of music in general), I occasionally get caught in a SoundCloud vortex. I go there to listen to a certain song and after the song ends, SoundCloud begins to "recommend" songs that I might like. If I'm not particularly busy at the time, I let it try to impress me. Some days it's hit-or-miss, but every now and then a song plays, and I find myself rushing to the computer to find out who the artist is.
Such was the case when I heard "Je Te Veux, My Cherie Amour," a hauntingly beautiful flip of Stevie Wonder's classic "My Cherie Amour" by Rustin Hart. The song begins almost hesitantly, briefly stopping and then starting over. But before I could utter "Uh, what just happened?," I soon found myself spellbound by sparse piano and vocals steeped in the ache of romantic longing. Subtle hits of percussion and warm synth set the scene for familiar lyrics, "In a café or sometimes on a crowded street / I've been near you, but you never noticed me." Though Stevie's vocals are altered to a higher, almost Chipmunks-like pitch, this track is far from a cartoonish parody. Instead, it's lush, intoxicating and, quite honestly, just plain sexy.
So who exactly is this Rustin Hart? And why does that name sound familiar? A quick glance at his SoundCloud description simply offered a "yes." Okaaay. No website, no social media links. Hmmm. A Google search yielded nothing...though it did reveal why the name sounded familiar. It's a combination of the detectives' names (Rustin Cohle and Martin Hart) from the first season of HBO's True Detective. This dude just Keyser Söze'd us. Ha! But upon further inspection of his SoundCloud page, I noticed the URL contained "jakehartmusic." Aha! So, Rustin Hart is in fact an alter ego of London-based artist Jake Hart (the SoundCloud picture further confirms my theory).
Jake himself is somewhat clouded in a haze of mystery. His Facebook, Twitter and Instagram offer obscure photos, interesting quotations and intermittent updates. Seems he's about that recluse life (for now, anyway), and in today's media-hungry world, I certainly can't be mad at that. Just keep making music, that's all I ask.
Get enamored with Rustin Hart's "Je Te Veux, My Cherie Amour," then try not to break your neck as your head nods to the "Rustin Remix" of Amy Winehouse's "Stronger Than Me." Afterwards, check out Jake Hart's idiosyncratic video debut for his hypnotic 2014 track "That Touch." Here's hoping this isn't the last we hear/see from Jake (or Rustin).