Fresh from their project Road Trip Mixtape, Stories is a song that introduces The Jon Johns as a band with a beautifully heartfelt approach to songwriting and performance. The vintage-tones of their folk-rock presentation fuses nostalgia with the fresher hit of songwriting that made its way into the mainstream throughout the past decade. Rather than naming influences or comparisons though, there’s a distinctively raw and real feel to this band’s music – a little more classic Americana or Bob Dylan-esque than anything purely designed to offer an alternative to pop.
There’s a natural feel to the instrumentation and indeed to the character and emotion in that leading voice. Meanwhile, from a songwriting perspective, Stories offers precisely what its title implies. The details and the various layers of this tale effectively walk the line between that which is deeply personal, and that which is a little more vague and accessible to a wider audience. These references are the dreams and visions of the future that so many share, and the simple warmth and ongoing groove of the song exemplifies that well.
Elsewhere on the Road Trip Mixtape, the band don’t adhere to a single style or genre – another trait that separates them from the majority. Their songs thrive on the strength of their own concepts, and the artistic and relevant way in which these are represented. In the case of Stories, the classic roots vibe seems perfectly well-matched to the melodic angle and the images and ideas that are introduced. As you progress through the project, this same inclination for authenticity continues to ring true – in keeping with the changing events and experiences often encountered on a long road trip.
It would be a treat to witness this at a live show, to see if these thoughts and this quiet level of passion can connect as profoundly as the recording seems to imply. Chances are they absolutely would.
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