Jon was an artist I had not heard anything from before, which made listening to his music that bit more exciting! I know I’ve said this elsewhere before, but I absolutely love it when I get a request to review music from someone I am unfamiliar with. Jon sent me the private link to his newest release “all my life” and I was blown away…
The record starts with a brief drum intro, which leads into a fuzzy synth-heavy riff, sporting a suddenly catchy muse-like sound. The drums are playing a relatively pacey disco groove with the emphasis being on the hats being played on the offbeat (which is in sync with the synth and bass). The main riff is repeated twice before the vocal comes in.
The vocals are great. It’s just as punchy as the rest of the record. The melody is somewhat predictable, but this doesn’t mean it’s bad (most vocal lines in the majority of pop songs are predictable right? It’s a selling point). The chorus has some well-thought-out vocal harmonies. There is a real ‘evanescence / wake me up’ moment with a great ‘call and reply’ line on the vocals. It really stood out for me. I haven’t heard that being done in a long time, and it was most welcome.
My only issue with the chorus was that it was very similar sounding to the verse. For me, there wasn’t enough change between the two.
“Lyrically, the song is a take on modern life and dissociative living brought to the fore by COVID when it was enforced” Jon explains.
The song’s mid-8 is certainly it’s strongest point which comes shortly after the second chorus. Jon has been so clever with this. He has made a mid-8 appeal to fans of electronica and metal. The sound is electro, but the riff is metal. I can imagine that live; this part of the song would blow the roof of the music venue. It’s dirty, melodic, fun, grimy, raw, fuzzy and… just fucking awesome (I couldn’t put it any better than that).
After the mid-8, the song returns to the musical riff of the chorus with just the background vocal harmonies for one final push. The song then ends with a lovely little ring off which turns in to a pitch bend (and who doesn’t love a pitch bend?).
For me, this is a fantastic first effort. The entire song (apart from the drums) was tracked by Jon in his home studio. Being honest, I did find the chorus to be ever so slightly underwhelming, but the entire song is redeemed by its brilliance elsewhere. Firstly, those fuzzy synths and the bass just work so well together, it’s length is great (perfect for radio at 2.34am, lyrically it is really interesting, there are some lovely little nods to noughties nu-metal and the mid-8 might be one of the best and most energetic mid-8’s I’ve ever heard.
Jon has effortlessly mixed the successful ingredients of bands like Kaiser Chiefs, Kasabian, Franz Ferdinand and (as previously mentioned) Muse to create something of his own. It’s safe to say I will be seeing Jon Lett when the world opens up.