Klef Notes

Music Reviews

Jon Magnusson "Always A Rebel"

Within the Indie Music community, we have the power to elevate, evolve, and inspire with our music.  What makes this happen are the three types of artists that thrive in this FREE music space:  

  • Traditional – artists who stay true to the genre of their type – keeping it simple yet polished
  • Contemporary (Contempo) – artists who respect their genre’s type but pushes the envelope to begin another tradition
  • Avant-Garde – artists who are right in the middle of both Traditional and Contempo who kind of evolves the two into a new genre of sorts

From the very start of seeing and listening to Jon Magnusson, he personifies the Avant-Garde of the Indie Music realm.  Exuding the same panache as similar Rockers Peter Gabriel, Eric Clapton, and Freddie Mercury.  That quiet-power persona that reads:  cool, calm, capable, egoless, and progressive. 

Singer, songwriter, musician, audio engineer, and producer Jon Magnusson hale from Stockholm, Sweden.  Like most artists, Magnusson grew into the music.  

Magnusson began playing guitar at the age of 14 and wrote his first song at age 16 entitled “Sagan om den fattiga pojken och den rika flickan” (The Tale of the Poor Boy and the Rich Girl).  By 2012, he bought some new equipment to rock out to and began experimenting with songwriting and flexing his musical muscles on the guitar, first acoustic and then electric.  This took him to a new level of skills onto his personal taste in music to which he released his first single “Psalm for Syndare” and an EP “Dina drömmar” in 2015.  

Now, he has released his second EP entitled “Always a Rebel” a capsule collection of Progressive Rock music.  This is my interpretation of those five tracks that deliver a diverse range of Rock. 

The EP opens with “Rely on Me” – a quirky track that touches on how reliance and mutual trust is what makes life so worth living.  Opening with a heavily percussed introduction, this track sets you up for a ride of Pure Rock blended with Americana.  The song is built around a guitar hook that is reminiscent of surf music which is that wonderful Blues progression using only three chords that we love.  

The second cut “I’m Not the Only One” appropriately fly’s – it’s that marriage of 1980s Pop infused with New Wave that ignites such blissful psychedelic vibes.  Equally inviting are the unison vocals riding the hook adding such sweet texture.  A song about how when you think or feel that worst has come to worst, you are not the only one.  This song just makes you bounce in your seat! 

The EP reaches its pinnacle by the third track because it spotlights Magnusson’s true avant-garde approach to music.  Featuring a distorted glockenspiel, “Set Me on Fire” is an irreligious track written and sang from the artist’s point of view.  Magnusson pushes the envelope with “Set Me on Fire.” 

Magnusson appropriately concludes the EP with the title track “Always a Rebel,” a song about how being the odd ball in society’s eyes is “A-Okay.”  Magnusson chose to include a Hammond organ on this cut and it plays so well with the inclusion of varied guitars and synths.  The EP also features the alternate mix of this track.

Sure, we know that it takes heart to make music; it takes patience to record music; and, it takes humility to perform your creation.  But, it takes chops to pull it off and be successful; and, “Always a Rebel” is just that – a Rock infused accomplishment.   

There is no apologizing, clarifying, or overly explaining the music that comes from the creative mind of Jon Magnusson – a true Avant-Garde type.  His music needs no explanation just a listen and digestion.  

“Always a Rebel” in its entirety musically shows how to bring out your inner rebel by being vocal in your own way.  The basic instrumental elements layered with practical storytelling speaks to everyone on every level of the human condition.  

Co-producing with Ruben Engzell set the bar high and “Always a Rebel” is a nice departure from the norm that is sure to evolve Indie Music as we know it.  

There is no “If” or “when” as to the career path of Jon Magnusson, it is only “what’s next?” and “where can I get it?” 

To listen to these tracks and to find out more, click here or follow him on Twitter.


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