Bleau is the one-man band for Jonathan Jones. He recently released a five-song self-titled EP Bleau that he has been working on for the last couple of years. His music is atmospheric, acoustic and melancholy. It's a formula that can come off as self-absorbed and quite boring if not treated right but I am happy to report Jones is quite the opposite of that. Bleau is enjoyable from beginning to end especially for those who veer towards the melancholy.
Jones stated that he hopes to get better in terms of the production and recording, mixing and mastering. After reading that and the fact the he used a Zoom H1 to record I wasn’t expecting much in terms of recording quality. I was quite surprised when I heard the EP because it sounded very good. In fact I would say the quality is close to professional studio quality in a lot of ways.
Jones opening track “something” mixes in elements of shoegaze and I was reminded of The Jesus and Mary Chain. It’s slightly upbeat and arguably the highlight. The lyrics are heartfelt and ring so true while the melody is infectious. He sings, “you wanna feel something it's better than nothing can't quite get that high so you go for the low and down you go.” It definitely is a song you can play on repeat. So much so that I think the song could have easily gone on for another minute or so.
The next song “between” is a little more dismal sounding. It works great as the second track. The melody from his guitar and vocals are haunting and in some ways unconventional. The lyrics are poetic and paint vivid imagery. He sings, “crashing cars dividing hearts it's all the same start again aching quiet screaming silence it's all the same come back again.”
“Beautiful” has a bit more energy as the drums are strategically placed against the cascading guitar melodies. You can hear some resemblance to bands like Modest Mouse on “and” while “blue” ends the album bright, reverbed laced guitars that spray some hope on the situation.
Bleau is an impressive EP in a number of ways. Jones is a good songwriter with an aesthetically pleasing voice. Even more impressive is that he carves out a sound for himself with this release. Jones has some talent and if he can hone it a little bit more people should notice.
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