IIn July 2008 Australia and the world lost a brilliant singer and songwriter, Jesse Younan aged 35, far too early for people to fully appreciate his incredible talent.
Just days after he finished recording his remarkable album 'A Good Day for a Migraine' he was admitted to hospital with acute myeloid leukemia.
He passed away shortly after the album was released to outstanding critical acclaim.
Now in 2012 a new album 'Take Something Beautiful' brings together some of Australia's finest independent talent to interpret Jesse Younan's songs in a fitting tribute to an extraordinary artist.
Each bring their own interpretation to Younan's heartbreaking songs of love and struggle, ensuring his work will continue to be heard by new generations of music lovers.
Produced by Dave Symes, with string arrangements by contemporary composer Nick Wales 'Take Something Beautiful' covers works from all four of Jesse Younan's releases.
The idea for 'Take Something Beautiful' grew out of the friendship and association between Glenn Wright, director of Vitamin Records (and close friend of Younan's) and Norman Parkhill of Source Music who initially placed Younan's songs on ABC's East of Everything and then later with Packed to the Rafters to great response.
Both men felt Younan's songs deserved to be heard by a wider audience. "I've always felt the sheer weight of Jesse's songs would bring him recognition on a wide scale," says Glenn Wright.
"My aim was to produce an album of Jesse's songs with a collective of artists from the Source and Vitamin families that will hopefully, in some way spread Jesse Younan's name a little bit further," says the album's executive producer Norman Parkhill.
With Dave Symes overseeing production, each artist involved was able to focus solely on the interpretation of their song.
Be it Emily Lubitz's heartbreaking sorrow and delicacy in "Bea" or Jen Cloher's hurt and bitterness in "Take Something Beautiful", to Jordie Lane's tender resignation in "Swing" and Abbe May's dark, siren-like rendition of the brutal humour in "Blowfly" – the final result is the delivery of extraordinary vocal performances that shine new light into the soul of each song.
The production process worked much the same as the way an artist approaches a canvas; each song's unique story dictated the style of the accompanying production.
As a result, some songs settle with sparse piano and double bass while others are wrapped up in epic string arrangements.
Thanks to Symes' minimalist but bold approach, 'Take Something Beautiful' as a whole takes on its own identity, cinematic in scope, while maintaining the evocative, raw emotion that was Younan's trademark. Jesse Younan said of his music
"I don't sound like Robert Johnson, but the way I approach music is similar to the blues. Both have honesty and rawness at the root of them. It's about making the soul audible."
"What is rare is finding a tribute album made with the same passion and commitment that went into the original recordings. Rarer still is to find one for an artist whose total album sales wouldn't earn enough to buy the morning coffee on the set of The Voice. - Take Something Beautiful is that rarity."
What sometimes scorching, sometimes devastating and often pointedly true song. Interpreted by musicians who knew him well, these songs are revealed in all their potency and beauty." - Bernard Zuel
"There's a poignancy – a tragic prescience – to the songwriting that marked Jesse Younan as one of the staples of Sydney's Independent music scene." - ( The Australian )