Scene & Heard

SOUND SEEKERS: Jehan Khoorshed brings Kermit and PSAC into the mix on No Harm Done

Philip From left: Bova Sr., Philip Bova Jr., Matt Ouimet, Jehan Khoorshed, Unknown Cat. Photo by Petr Maur.

Jehan Khoorshed pulls from all places for his songs. The Ottawa troubadour crafts an artful turn of phrase and then puts it to a country-ish tune bed. He amplifies those base song structures with vocal harmonies and nicely placed percussive embellishments. Khoorshed’s got a storyteller’s tone that gives a richness to the lyrics.

All the fine details add up to a great little tune. There are 12 of them on No Harm Done, Khoorshed’s new album, released in March, which follows his 2009 eponymous debut.

The songs on his debut covered girl-meets-guy stories (Dorothy, Jodessa), what comes after (Feels So Good, Back In My Bed), and how easy it is to screw it all up (Listen to Women, Tired, Won’t Be Home).

He expands on those themes and widens his gaze on No Harm Done, covering issues of purpose and life questions, in addition to the relationship tunes. The songs are jaunty — a nice antidote to some of the downer themes — and skillfully played by longtime Ottawa musicians Philip Bova Sr. (bass), Philip Bova Jr. (drums), Matt Ouimet (guitar, lap steel) and Steve Boudreau (keys).

He takes inspiration from his cast of players, life as a “chief gopher” at PSAC, and even from The Muppet Show. Khoorshed cribbed a line from Kermit for use in his song So Long. Listen for it: “What’s so amazing that keeps us stargazing?”

Jehan Khoorshed & His Problems. With guest Matt Ouimet. Saturday, April 23. Kaffe 1870, 715, ch. Riverside, Wakefield.

Sound Seekers is published weekly at OttawaMagazine.com. Read Fateema Sayani’s culture column in Ottawa Magazine. Subscribe to the print edition here.