Meet Wes Leslie, the San Francisco troubadour quickly making a name for himself. A unique character in the city’s social landscape, Wes Leslie incorporates his adoration of the city into his lyrics by referencing dive bars, streets, and lovers. This extends even to his livelihood, which is why he founded Wild SF Walking Tours in 2012, “alternative tours of SF’s most iconic neighborhoods, led by passionate local artist-guides.” Yep, they even have ghost tours. Watch this fun video about the company here. OK, back to his music.
His songs are love letters with wit and candor — the sort you wish your college boyfriend had written for you, instead of those 2am sexts. Bypassing bedroom-pop entirely and going straight for bedroom-soul — because come on, it is a bedroom, why not make use of it — he says his music lies “somewhere between self-aware white kid and Al Green whispering into your ear.” In December he plans to release an album called Bedroom Soul, and you’ll find the track listing written out on the image above.
Until then, it’s his live music video for “Sitting On The Roof Of SFAI” that I keep coming back to. Filmed by Andrew Wong in one take and shot against a gorgeous dusk backdrop of homes sloping down hills, the video follows Wes Leslie crooning about a missed chance at young love, “trundling down Judah to the general store,” and regret.
He plays local shows often, but you’ll have to wait for a bit while he tours Australia in December.