As I stated before, Jon Magnusson personifies the Avant-Garde of the Indie Music realm because he straddles that line between Traditional and Contempo so smoothly cranking out music that is approachable and hazardous (but balanced) at the same time. It is that dual image of the artist at work that makes us adore the music of Jon Magnusson, and now he’s back with “Acoustic Dreams” a five track EP set to release on July 15th.
Written, arranged, and composed by Magnusson, and co-produced, mixed, and mastered by Toby Davis (The Mixologist of Indie Music) “Acoustic Dreams” is a composition that connects emotions to stories. And where “Always a Rebel” was more Progressive Rock, now you get to hear the opposite side of that musical coin with all electronic instrumentation being scaled back placing acoustic guitars and orchestral arrangements up front which makes for a marriage of Folk and Synth – an EP that’s interesting and refreshing.
To put it plainly, imagine if your dreams could be in soft audible surround sound where you would be able to relive the journey with mind-cinema-surrealism. Wouldn’t that be ah-some? That is what Jon Magnusson has done with “Acoustic Dreams.”
The five tracks of the EP tell a personal, yet universal, vivid story of an artist’s life experiences:
- The Street Where I Was Born
- Sweetest Thing
- Lust for Life
- Growing Old Disgracefully
- Your Dreams
I will focus on “Sweetest Thing” and “Lust for Life” in this review.
“The Sweetest Thing” features a story of love and its practical yet powerful effect on its hosts. This adaptation of “The Sweetest Thing” is literally the sweetest thing to hear today in music because a lot of music now crowds the tracks with too many textures, too many fillers, too many effects, and not enough emotion. Magnusson’s cover of Almost Honey’s track offers soft soundscapes combined with an acoustic guitar and a majestic melody that awakens your subconscious. This is just music and vocals balanced with melody. More Simon and Garfunkel in its execution with a conversational approach and a storyteller’s vibe. Once you finish riding along with the indirect lyrical journey, in classic Magnusson experimental style, he leaves you open-ended with his cliffhanging conclusion leaving you wanting more of his musical tastes. And this brings us to “Lust for Life.”
“Lust for Life” has such a beautiful euphoric, almost fairytale, introduction that it quickly and easily puts you in a mellowed mood. Magnusson’s cover of Gamma Ray’s same track features a dual musical effect - where it has a quiet energy in its lyrical execution but also a vigorous persona with its instrumentation and melody. This rendition steps right up to you from the first second and introduces itself to you. More musical score in its approach, this track shows Magnusson as a composer and a musician. “Live life easy everyday” is its message and it fits the song’s structure musically and lyrically with its eloquent yet energetic guitars and soft synths. It is a symphonic, folkloric, and modernly practical anthem spearheading us to not sweat the small stuff in life that tries to get you down.
Jon Magnusson is still the rebel, and “Acoustic Dreams” invites his listeners to still march to the beat of your own drum even if it is softer steps set to music. And keep in mind, that although it is softer, it is not easier, it is quietly complex and secretly promising. Sweet dreams!
Pre-Save your copy of 'Acoustic Dreams' in advance here!