Jon Garcia | Jon Garcia (Self-Released)

It sounds like a gentle lullaby, one that Ryan Adams might listen to before bed. Some people might pass this kind of music off as easy listening for the folk rock crowd, but that just means you don’t get it.

 

 

the recycled paper and ink–drawn cover art of Jon Garcia’s CD cover, his self-titled album is an organic picture of folk guitar straight from Portland. It sounds like a gentle lullaby, one that Ryan Adams might listen to before bed.
Some people might pass this kind of music off as easy listening for the folk rock crowd, but that just means you don’t get it. Imagine life through a camera lens, looking at every detail like a newborn for the first time. Suddenly, simplicity becomes a much larger thing, worth taking some time to notice.

“Television Blackhole” is definitely one of the standout tracks, particularly because it takes things to a new level on the album. It gets a little more upbeat here, and yet mellow at the same time. “The Delaware Carousel” is similar in that same way.
Throughout Garcia’s self-titled release, he utilizes a varying amount of instrumentation that properly frames each song’s demeanor. Listen for the Rhodes and the string instruments in particular. It’s somewhere between a throwback to the old-school usage of the Rhodes and a little symphony that wants to be cooler than the band kids.

The music and lyrics are definitely stronger than Garcia’s voice itself. It’s not horrible; he just doesn’t have that honeyed voice that flows like slowed molasses on a summer day. The vocals seem too sunny at times, where it sounds like a more gentle approach may have worked better, like in “Ashes Black and Roses All Around.”

Highlights include the trio in the middle of the album, “Life’s a Wave,” “Dizzy Star,” and “Wounded.” They make the most of Garcia’s ability to frame each song with a descriptive picture that has its own soundtrack.

Overall, these 14 tracks serve as a glimpse into a soul who would rather find enjoyment in everyday life than rely on already tired and generic emotional states that show up on most records.


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