September 26, 2011

Jonathan Wilson - "Can We Really Party Today?"

We're huge fans of Jonathan Wilson over here at Everybody Taste. We even dedicated an entire mixtape to his work as both a solo musician and collaborator, the latter of which has included gigs with everyone from Dawes to Elvis Costello, Jenny Lewis, and The Jayhawks' Gary Louris. Now Wilson is finally getting his much-deserved turn in the spotlight with Gentle Spirit, his long-awaited second solo LP that's been talked about for what seems like ages (Tame Impala's Nick Allbrook called it one of the best albums he's ever heard back in May of 2010), and was finally released this past August via Bella Union.

Gentle Spirit, which features its own array of guests including Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes and Vetiver's Andy Cabic, is an absolute stunner. At turns psychedelic, jammy, poppy, sun-baked, and singer-songwriter driven, Wilson's record plays like a wise old teacher's masterfully performed history of Californian rock and roll. Yet, because Wilson's song structures are so unique and the instrumentals so dynamic, these songs never once feel rehashed, but rather surprisingly fresh. Gentle Spirit is truly an immersive and lingering listening experience. You hit play and the next moment, like a heavy fog, your covered in a wash of warmly recorded analog tones, walking barefoot through the middle of the dessert, splashing in the cold surf, and surrounded by the hills of Laurel Canyon. These songs aren't built for the moment—this is an anytime, anyplace kind of record.

Every song here is a favorite, but in terms of accessibility, "Can We Really Party Today?" is the track I always turn to as an introduction to Wilson. What starts out as a sparse introspective acoustic ditty builds into something else entirely at 4:52, where a rush of organ, handclaps, and a thumping bass crash over the unsuspecting listener in a wave of euphoria. It's the kind of musical moment that hits your right in the gut, and may even raise a few hairs—it's that good. (Photo by Lauren Ward)

Buy Gentle Spirit digitally or on vinyl from Bella Union.

Jonathan Wilson - "Can We Really Party Today?" (from Gentle Spirit)

Gentle Spirit (Bonus Track Version) - Jonathan Wilson

1 comment:

  1. This album is insanely good. Learned about JW from your mixtape and it's been nothing but a great sense of ease and setting suns since. Thanks.