By Taylor Barrett
The Jonathan Kennedy Connection, as featured in our Hyalite Session series, is back with his debut self-titled album, The Connection. Previously touring with bands such as The Richard Lloyd Trio and Magic Castles, Jonathan Kennedy now finds himself working on a solo project where he writes and produces music in a quaint cabin, deep in the mountains just southeast of Bozeman.
Coining the term “electronic folk,” Kennedy is sure to bring something to the pallet that you’ve likely never tasted before–effectively meshing two genres of music that you might’ve never thought to mix. In the opening track, “Windward,” you will notice a strong blend of synthesizers, acoustic guitar, and vocals that reflect a strong 80s touch, with the song peaking around 1:42 with a combination of vocals, electric guitar, and acoustic guitar.
The second track, “Strangetown,” begins with the twinkling of a keyboard and an ominous bowing of the violin in the background. Throughout the song, Kennedy reflects on the feeling of living in a town that seems to have come to a halt, never changing, and giving the emotion of being both lost and a stranger.
“The Crossing” feels much like the ballad of the album, with a driving rhythm, slow pace, and vocals that reflect thoughts of regret for time passed, but this is quickly followed by what might be the most lively song of the album, “Market and State St.” The song starts with a strong percussive beat, soon joined by a vocal harmony, featuring a wood block for extra flavor. This song is definitely the most accessible, discussing the wisdom and truth that lies within everything in the universe, Kennedy sings: “take a plane or take a spaceship / go get lost in what you know,” followed by a heavy electronic solo of intertwining synth melodies.
The song “Ruby Girl” takes it down a notch with a groovy vibe that will put you on the beach with a beer in your hand with heavy reverb and heavy reverb as Kennedy sings another vocal harmony. Next, on “Star Song”, we enter a trance of electric guitar, wavy synths, and percussion, accompanied by vocals that will leave you in outer space.
Wrapping up the album, “Revolving Door” discusses the cycles that occur in life and how we often feel like we are stuck in place. Kennedy encourages his audience to break the cycle when he sings “You ever feel like your life is stuck in a revolving door? / Same thing day after day / week after week / month after month / year after year / We gotta put a door stop in that door.”
For Kennedy, The Connection started as a concept way back in middle school. It’s the idea of an interaction between two things––whether that be spiritual, social, or even drug related. Kennedy is simply trying to make music that exemplifies the bond between two distinct entities, and through his music he seeks to spread his light and multi instrumental talents with the world.
The Connection is set to release on Friday, March 13th and will be available at Cactus Records on CD and Jonathan Kennedy is also available directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or (612) 209-4761. You can also catch The Connection’s CD Release show and grab a copy of the album on the day of its release, the show will start at 8:30pm at the Labor Temple.(https://www.facebook.com/events/536539150597742/)
Stream the album in full below!