woensdag 11 maart 2015
From the mouth of the wolf (EP). Jon DeRosa
Not that DeRosa comes up with anything much new. His music is nostalgia as it is meant to be. All comes from way back when, but in such a way that it is extremely interesting to listen to in 2015. The four songs on From the mouth of the wolf give a sample of what Jon DeRosa is capable of. And that is recreating the sound of The Walker Brothers and Scott Walker at the start of his solo career, leaving the bombast behind, making his own music so much purer for it. DeRosa can croon like Morrissey, while tipping his toes into the same well as Morgan Mecaskey does on her two brilliant EPs. 'The righteous kind' and 'Lover less wild'.
From the wolf of the mouth is lush in a modest way. I'd almost say, don't provide Jon DeRosa with a million dollars to record a record. Perhaps he will not be able to restrain himself the way he does or is forced to do presently. It is in the tension created by the empty spots between the orchestrations that From the mouth of the wolf's four songs excel.
The EP starts with a female voice. 'Dancing in a dream' is a duet with Carina Round and can be found on his upcoming album 'Black halo'. This beautiful ballad sets the tone of this EP straight away. A few arpeggiated, simple guitar notes and a chord stroke, over which Round starts singing, answered by DeRosa. Together they sing in the chorus as if made for each other, singing like they have done nothing else their whole lives. With minimal effects in the music a maximum effect is reached. A song that seems played in slow motion, like dancing in a dream caught by a film director and slowed down for the special effects. Beauty caught in the act 'Dancing in a dream' is, nothing else.
His Scott Walker side comes out in 'Signs of life'. Jon DeRosa's voice may not be as deep and powerful as Walker's, the result is so much more subtle. The pathos is in part left to the imagination of the listener. leaving something to desire. Highlight of this song is moment the softly played snare drum comes in at the start of the second verse.
Jon DeRosa's rock side comes out in the more elementary 'Snow coffin'. His voice shifts to the Morrissey side of the spectrum on From the mouth of the wolf. The straightforward rhythm is embellished by violins that envelope themselves around the mix and sparse xylophone notes. Slowly 'Snowcoffin' is fleshed out, keeping Jon DeRosa's mesmerising voice as the steady captain at the helm of the song. Steady as she goes, sailor. Some beautiful harmonising at the end of the song as well.
The fun ends with 'Anchored', where the proverbial captain of the previous song gets lost at sea in 'Anchored', set free by his love and no "Pilgrim star to guide me". Another song that holds something mysterious, deep melancholia and a yearning for something lost that could be found or is lost for ever. Jon DeRosa is a star at catching such mysteries in his songs.
Capturing it all. From the mouth of the wolf is a sampler that makes me extremely curious for this upcoming album 'Black halo' and will certainly make me visit his Bandcamp page for his previous record. 'A wolf in preacher's clothes'. There is only one thing left to desire: A duet with Morgan Mecaskey.
You can listen to 'Anchored' here: