Best Singer-Songwriter - 2011
The town's best new singer-songwriter doesn't really play shows — but even so, James Cooley, who releases under the Mesita moniker, is one of the most compelling local songwriters in recent memory. With a breathtaking falsetto croon that recalls Bon Iver, he plays a gorgeous brand of folk that will, well, take your breath away. Even more impressive, he performs every instrument on his recordings, which he engineers and produces himself. And what makes the best even better? It won't cost you a dime to get your hands on his entire discography. You can download it all for free on his website, www.mesitamusic.com, and that includes his brand-new album, Here's to Nowhere.