Previously unreleased on any physical medium, we present a remastered southern pop gem from Chicago, by way of Greensboro, North Carolina, pianist and vocalist Jeremy Jon.
Remastered by Eric Trude (Stress Orphan/Red Army Ensemble)
Pro-dubbed chrome c52, with 5-panel j-card and a small lyric/prayer book style 10 page insert.
I’ve noticed an ongoing trend in the mid to late Oughts within American noise where labels hyper-curate the content and presentation of their output. In the cases I’m describing, the majority of the artists on the label’s roster share similar sonic characteristics, maybe some thematic qualities, and frequently the releases feature similar design characteristics. This by no means is a negative trait for a label, quite the contrary; I think it’s something that defines what the type of brand the label is seeking to put forth. This type of curation assures a potential buyer that regardless of whether or not they know an artist in the label’s new batch, they can count on a certain level of quality and continuity that comes from understanding the context and timeline of that label’s output. If you know what came before and enjoyed it, you can generally make the assumption that you will enjoy the next as well.
Perfect Law Releases has thoughtfully chosen to eschew this trend with the release of Jeremy Jon’s “The Coming,” and for good reason.
This is by no means a noise release; I would categorize it as something along the lines of synth-pop primarily, but I don’t think that label really does any justice to the material presented here or accurately describes it whatsoever. What we get from “The Coming” is pure vulnerability. Beautiful and somber piano lines, reverb drenched vocals detailing want and needs not being met, electronic drums that propel and push the vocal and piano melodies into despair while still leaving a feeling of openness for the possibility of hope to come, and ambient synths periodically overtaking the mix and bringing us out of the comfort of the rhythm and vocal melodies and into a purely anxiety addled momentary blackout.
While listening, I’m frequently reminded of a modern Kate Bush, but with a much heavier focus on natural piano sounds instead of the synthesizer based pop music of that time period. I’m tempted to say the vocals remind me at times of Jamie Stewart of Xiu Xiu; however, I feel much more comforted in Jeremy Jon’s sorrowful crooning than Stewart’s quivered panic attacks and nervous breakdowns. There is an almost baroque quality to some of the tracks, maybe owing to a handful of well-placed samples, piano lines, and, at times, Jeremy Jon’s vocal register, which he artfully switches between to fit the mood of the track.
“optimistic scene” is a beautiful, minimal track featuring deep synth tones and relaxing, yet longing, vocals ending in the sound of fireworks and clapping. “smoke. mirrors.” is much more upbeat while still remaining restrained. It opens with a sample followed by sparse piano and vocals, which then are quickly joined by catchy drum programming and a fantastic piano loop. His reserved vocal performance towards the beginning is then met with layers and layers of overdubs, bringing the section to a massive crescendo followed by more catchy, borderline aggressive, electronic drums featuring clapping and a well placed bell tone. “going going/coming” is definitely a standout track on the album. Once again, we get fantastic vocal performances and heartfelt piano lines, distorted drum programming, but what I found most striking is the section midway through the 10 minute opus that could have fit in as part of the soundtrack to a Broadway musical, simple, up tempo piano lines with spirited, breathy vocals keeping up with the pace.
“The Coming” is an album in the true sense of the term. It builds up and breaks down; only to be built up again, and broken down…again; similar to the emotions I imagine the artist felt which must have led to the creation of this music. This isn’t a C90 of static crunch; this is a beautiful, sorrowful 52 minutes of pop music merging baroque piano, electronic drums, and minimal synthesizer music. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to hear how it sounds to feel the human condition.
– Wonderland Bill