His psychedelic genre bending is at sometimes unconventional, but Martin continually finds ways to mix old school ideas with modern production. His lyrics dance between tongue-in-cheek and heartfelt in a way that you can imagine Martin delivering every line with a smile, whether it’s a quirky observation or a sobering realization. Either way it’s real.
The Color Scheme is highly-tuneful, carefully constructed so that the different styles mesh and flow; really, a well-thought out piece of coherent work. A very nice, colorful collection of songs, without question. Jonas Martin has carved himself out an impressive work of maturity, skill and memorability.
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.
His balance of deeply personal and broadly funny material, sarcasm and sincerity, social commentary and heart-on-the-sleeve emotional storytelling, calls to mind the dead-serious goofball poetics of somebody like Father John Misty, who feels like a contemporary touchstone.
Martin’s debut solo release, Chokecherry Jam, strips the sound down to a rather gritty and raw foundation. Songs like “Apple Peelings” tickle the sweet senses of the musical palette, whereas “Wake Up” is not unlike biting into a raw banana, peel and all. The muddy guitar rhythms, the gospel-vibes of tambourine tapping and a choir accompaniment, and the haunting sounds of an old organ are the key ingredients to a song portraying the agonizing nature of sleeplessness.
Martin definitely breaks the foundation of a traditional musician. Possessing an unruffled, yet confident style, his musical spirit screams rebel in every sense of the word.
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Photo by Will Von Bolton