The whole sad bohemian artist thing has been done to death. There is no denying that. Ever since the early ’60s some young souls convey their poetry with little more than a melody and a guitar. Truth be told that a small percentage of that group have something worth listening to and an even smaller percentage make their mark in the collective conscious. You also have a camp of singer/songwriters who even though they are essentially doing something very similar to thousands of others they have something. They have it. That thing that makes you want to keep listening.
I’d say Jon Blake falls into the latter. His EP Hotel Bonigno isn’t anything that hasn’t been done before but he sounds damn good doing it. Most importantly his folk songs resonate with people living in present times. Take for instance the impressive opener “Speaking to Ikons.” One of my favorite lines is “I saw the text message bubble / Appear then disappear / You wanted to say something / But decided to steer clear.” This line will resonate with anyone in this day and age but especially with people who are dating in 2016. There are great lines throughout this song and delivered with a good amount of emotion. Great opener.
He has more success “In No Time (feat. J. Bonigno).” I have to admit I heard shades of Bright Eyes on this song but it’s very subtle. The song has some clapping, additional guitars and is celebratory. Lyrically there are some great lines along with a good amount of tropes about travel and choosing your path which tends to be a ubiquitous topic from a bohemian folk artist.
“Lullaby” is a softly sung song which could put you to sleep. I say that as a compliment. It’s a relaxing melody. He closes with “What the Reaper Cannot Reap” which is a darker, dusty folk song that flirts with topics like death and love.
Blake has got talent in the delivery department and songwriting department. This is a good EP which displays an ample amount of potential. Keep at it Blake because you have it.
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