The Neighbourhood’s frontman Jesse Rutherford became a household name for indie rock fans back when “Sweater Weather” went platinum in 2014.
The band hasn’t put out a full-length album since Wiped Out!, their sophomore release. However, among the fall EP release of Hard and Rutherford’s book release and several solo music endeavors, it’s easy to see he’s been busy.
Following the release of his solo debut album, &, we’ve rounded up some of the most versatile moments of his artistic career so far.
The Neighbourhood formed in 2011, and the band released their first EP via Columbia Records in 2012. The release of I’m Sorry… brought the world the adorable, cuffing season anthem “Sweater Weather.”
The band’s breakout album led to plenty more singles and two full-length albums from the dark, pop-rockers led by Jesse Rutherford’s soft vocals that he often switches up with a sing-rap style. As a band they formed an alternative sound that continues to land them gigs all over the world and about 4.5 million monthly Spotify listeners.
There’s a Soundcloud page that is titled je$$e rutherford. And, although there is no way to tell who’s actually running it, it is yet another display of Rutherford’s ability to change things up.
The uploads include reworks of early Neighbourhood tracks, including an eerie audio split edit of “Warm” and a shortened version of “Jealou$y.” The latest track (which is actually three years old) includes an acoustic performance of “Float” backed by the sound of rain. The singer’s voice doesn’t get lost amongst the acoustic guitar, spontaneous snaps, and steady stream of raindrops, rather Rutherford projects and fades with ease.
The Factoury & Jesse James
On the other hand, the Soundcloud page for The Factoury has been a more known space for Rutherford’s edgier and experimental solo tracks over the past year. In this space the hip-hop inspiration runs deep, from his raunchy, yet jazzy song “U R Wut U Eat” to his synth-heavy track with nerdy rap king Kyle called “Meantime.”
Experimenting with hip-hop flavor in full band songs with the Neighbourhood, especially in the #000000 & #FFFFFF mixtape, has been no secret to fans all over the world. However, within &, Rutherford revisits his rough, solo hip-hop exploration that is marked by DatPiff mixtape release dating back to 2011.
Most recently, Rutherford released his solo album & on Nov. 10, including the soulful single “Drama” – filled with high-reaching notes, angelic backing vocals, organ sounds and sarcastic laughs. The song followed up his first single, “Born to Be Blonde,” where Rutherford boasts about the designer fashion pieces he can afford and how he truly believes he’s an icon.
By the album’s third track, “Barbie & Ken,” he showcases a downtempo hip-hop vibe. In it, Rutherford switches from singing club-ready, catchy lines like “show me that it’s real, make it bounce,” to rapping a chorus that has a flat, sing-rap flow reminiscent of NAV.
He’s all over the map. He sings to an acoustic guitar-guided melody in “I Think We Should Stay in Love.” Then, in “IDK” and “Blame,” the Dylan Brady production involves more bass-heavy techniques, creating an alternative hip-hop sound similar to fellow LA-based artist Blackbear.
Photo book & impeccable style
Before his latest album, Rutherford dropped a gender-defying photo book with the same ampersand title. What was meant to be a single photo, turned into a full coffee table book of untouched and un-captioned photos. The shoot was styled by Rutherford with clothing, shoes and accessories from his eclectic, yet often monochromatic wardrobe.
Whether it’s getting dressed for the day or writing over a thousand songs, Rutherford doesn’t limit himself to one genre or one side of the department store. You can listen to his brand new project below.