In case you missed it:
Jono McCleery’s ever growing fanbase will be thrilled to hear that the Rotterdam-based singer songwriter has produced his definitive album. Pagodes is the deepest, most powerful work to date by a musician whose work has been described as like “Miles Davis, Massive Attack, John Martyn, Fink, and Radiohead wrapped up in one exquisitely produced sound.”
Born deaf, McCleery only became able to hear at age 5. He picked up the guitar as an eighteen year-old, honing his craft on the London live circuit and touring with the One Taste Collective alongside the likes of Little Dragon, Jamie Woon, Nick Mulvey, Portico (Quartet) and Kate Tempest. Along the way he picked up a small of army evangelical fans, including luminaries such as Tom Robinson and Vashti Bunyan, who led the charge to crowdfund his debut album Darkest Light.
His second album There Is, released in 2011, began his association with Counter Records, and brought him widespread critical acclaim. New album Pagodes is a collaborative release with legendary London record store If Music, who recently released two of the finest compilations of quality musical eclecticism of the last half decade.
Several years of hard work making Pagodes has paid off in spades. It’s an album that’s difficult to turn away from, full of beautiful melody, futuristic production flourishes and lyrics that don’t shy away from darkness, but always alight on uplifting conclusion.
Opener ‘This Idea of Us’ is a smouldering torch ballad, its string arrangement lending it gripping drama. Robert Wyatt’s ‘Age of Self’ comes off as a song McCleery was born to sing, its lyrical content as relevant today as it was 30 years ago. The album moves into infectious percussive swing and melodic loops with ‘Ballade,’ a song that could have come from the LA-jazz hotbed surrounding Flying Lotus.
Pagodes marries all of this thrilling diversity via McCleery’s existential musings and his startling voice and playing. It’s unlikely you’ll hear an album of such power from another singer songwriter anytime soon.
Jono McCleery Pagodes Tracklist:
1. This Idea Of Us
2. Age Of Self
3. Since I
4. Painted Blue
8. Bet She Does
9. Fire In My Hands
10. Desperate Measure
11. Pardon Me
12. So Long