Meet the idiot.

There’s a persistent dichotomy to the work of musician Jonas Martin. His songs are unreservedly personal but boast a broad palette of emotions. He’s able to sneak in both a slyly subversive wit and a genuinely funny sense of melodic escapism. His earnest narratives are home to many perspectives—some of which are only visible after repeated listens.

Jonas at his Bushwick home, 2016. Taken by Rico DeLeon



Since splitting from the band Goodnight Ned, Jonas Martin has had to dig deep to take control of his own destiny. Gone was the safety net of his friends, bandmates and collaborators. He had to approach songs with a new purpose which allowed him to pursue his dreams without compromise, the great dictator of his own art. His pop-fueled sonic vibes now stand alone as his true statement of intent.

Martin’s writing is his quest for answers and his opportunity to spread the message of love while encouraging everyone to live their lives to the fullest. Sitting at his mother's old piano in his home studio, Martin allows his songs to present themselves in their own time. Some are eager to jump onto the page, while others take patience and reflection. However, when they choose to arrive he is ready to welcome them.  

In many ways Martin is a simple man, keeping the more complex parts of his psyche for his music. He likes nothing more than shooting beer cans off a wall with his Red Ryder BB gun whenever there’s some time to kill on the road. Alternatively, he’s just as happy to play a game of dominoes or kick back with new book.

It’s all there to be heard on his second solo album The Color Scheme.  The experimental nature of “Another Rerun” and “Dream I Had Last Night” can be seen as a continuation of the school boy who loved to dabble with the xylophone. The mixtape-style of “Dumbstruck AF” reveals the influence of hip hop on Martin’s writing and the social commentary of “Let Them Drown” has echoes of his beloved Randy Newman’s own work on Good Old Boys .

Most of all, the album is a tribute to his late father who passed suddenly in 2014. In Martin’s words, “he was the smartest person I ever met. He was a weirdo and proud of it.” As an encouraging parent, radio DJ, curious science-fiction nerd and raconteur, his father left an indelible mark on his son’s life and love of music. All of this and more can be heard on the album’s heart-breaking cornerstone Just Like My Dad, a raw tribute akin to Lennon’s own emotional exorcism with the Plastic Ono Band.

Jonas Martin makes music that means something to him. Put your headphones on and let it mean something to you.