- by Jim Harris Release Date:2017-03-17 Label: Field Mates Records
Well, there is nothing like a pastiche of retro 60s pop psych every once in awhile. While I struggle to embrace this sort of paisley and flowers sound on a consistent basis, when a band who does it as pleasantly well as Jons do it on their new album, At Work at Several Things, it strikes the senses as wonderfully sweet as a whiff of the demon weed while walking in a sketchy part of town on your way to an obscure music bar and venue.
Hailing from the beautiful city of Victoria, British Columbia, this Canadian band take a soft and gentle approach to this resurgent psych genre with plucky sparse guitars and fuzzy back feeds and truly create the sort of dreamy atmospheric pop song any fan of Arnold Lane to Tame Impala would enjoy and appreciate.
Probably the most refreshing thing is the adherence to a certain quaint lo-fi simplicity of production. It truly does conjure up that 60s vibe. The title track is a pretty and entrancing instrumental of all things. So Jons isn’t afraid to do anything as long as it contributes the sound.
The opening track, ‘Trip Ads’ sets the mood and not much variation from there, with an occasional ambitious beat or riff thrown in.
It’s gentle and sweet psych pop through and through and quite well done. And lyrically the stories are simple yet memorable and my favorite tracks are ‘Blood Red LeBaron’ and ‘Take Me Along’. The only quibble is the longish (9 minute) ‘Everything Happens to You’, that disrupts the vibe a bit with excess perhaps, but then it isn’t all that unpleasant as well. On the surface Jons might seem a bit derivative but the instrumentals and surprising complexity of the some of the song structures separate that out nicely on this album.
Jons is not as heavily laden with layers as a lot of psych pop and this adds a bit of intimacy to the sound that puts it above most disciples of the 60s esthetic. Well worth a listen if the excesses of Foxygen wear you out or Tame Impala get a bit eclectic at times. Jons adhere to the genre and excel at it. One of the better albums out so far this year.