The obvious similarities between Secondhand Serenade, hailing from the suburbs of California's Bay Area, and homegrown sensation Dashboard Confessional are impossible to ignore. Like Dashboard Confessional, the name is a framework for a shifting project led by a singular talent; John Vesely is to Secondhand Serenade what Chris Carrabba is to Dashboard. Both projects began as one-man acoustic acts, which blossomed along with their popularity into bands in their own right. And, most strikingly, both groups are helmed by pretty, tattooed men with meticulously greased quaffs, who emote over lots of acoustic guitar on those two classic subjects: love and loss.
But Vesely's work, to thousands of thousands of fans, stands on his own. He's got a knack for singing with a hushed urgency, as if he were letting listeners in on a secret. Even if it's somebody else's secret — the songs on both his debut album, Awake, and his followup, A Twist in My Story, which dropped this past February on the upstart Glassnote Music, were all written specifically for special women. Awwww. Hardened hearts need not apply here.
And meanwhile, the self-made sensation who grew his fan base in the early days through MySpace, breaks further and further into the mainstream. "Fall For You," the lead single off A Twist in My Story, was certified platinum earlier this year; its video continues to receive heavy rotation on outlets like VH1. A deluxe version of A Twist in My Story, featuring an EP's worth of new material, is due out early next year.
After the jump, read a full Q&A with Vesely. -- Arielle Castillo
Secondhand Serenade performs tonight with Cute is What We Aim For, Automatic Loveletter, and A Rocket to the Moon at Revolution, 200 W. Broward Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale. The show starts at 6 p.m., and tickets cost $19. All ages are welcome. Call 954-727-0950, or visit www.jointherevolution.net and www.ticketmaster.com.More »