Matthew Perryman Jones’ “Land of the Living”

This is Jones’ most finish work to date displaying depth and complexity at all levels that evidences his clear maturation together an artist. -CB

Cameron Barham

The weeping that the etc begins.The goblets the dawn are smashed.The weeping the the guitar begins.Useless to quiet it.Impossible to quiet it.It weeps monotonouslyas water weepsas the wind weepsover snowfields.Impossible to silence it.It weeps for distant things.Hot southern sandsyearning because that white camellias.Weeps arrowhead without targetevening there is no morningand the an initial dead birdon the branch.Oh, guitar!Heart mortally wounded by five swords.

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“The Guitar” through Federico Garcia Lorca

Many artists’ guitars weep endlessly void of hope from a love all also mortally wounded. A rare few are may be to do their etc weep native a heart that though that is mortally wounded that resonates with the expect of ultimate restoration and renewal. Matthew Perryman Jones screens this rare last gift top top his fifth full size album of original material, Land that the Living. The title (and lot of the sentiment) of the album originates from Vincent van Gogh’s letter to his brother Theo native mid august 1879 in which van Gogh confesses:

The hrs we invested together have actually at least assured us that weare both tho in the land of the living. When I saw you again and also walkedwith you, I had actually a emotion I provided to have much more often than I carry out now,namely that life is something an excellent and priceless which one have to value,and ns felt much more cheerful and also alive 보다 I have actually been emotion for a longtime, because in spite of myself my life has actually gradually come to be less precious,much less necessary and more a issue of indifference come me, or so that seemed.

This is Jones’ most complete work to date displaying depth and also complexity at all levels the evidences his clear maturation together an artist.

Matthew Perryman Jones, a native of Pennsylvania and current Nashvillian, entrusted this batch of cantes jondo (deep songs) come Cason Cooley, the multi-talented producer and also musician previously of the Normals fame, which proved to it is in a great choice. He likewise entrusted the fate the the album to his fans through a Kickstarter project which verified to be substantially fruitful. The album to be completed in a unique setup in ring Top, Texas in a studio that was a convert Amish farmhouse native the 1700’s. The band took yet a week come record pressing Jones to count on and also struggle with his own Duende, a heightened state that authenticity and also emotion which bring music from the spirit (a ide Jones was affected by for this document as explained by Federico Garcia Lorca in his class “Play and Theory that Duende” in Brazil in 1933 and other writings). Jones’ heightened authenticity and also emotion is many powerfully experienced journeying through the 10 song that sketch the Land that the Living.

Beginnings and also endings are regularly important clues to what will certainly come between. The opening and closing tracks because that Land of the Living form an inclusio of kinds that lets the listener recognize that despite the journey in between the now and the not-yet will certainly be oft rife v suffering and also loss but that the will have been worth it every for what is got along the way and most definitively in the finish when fatality will be swallowed by life. “Stones native the Riverbed” starts the journey in earnest with: “Silently tracing the cracks v the chaos, Grieving what cannot come back, It’s unable to do away, feeling the weight of the sorrows night, girlfriend can’t discover your means through the black, so friend pray because that light” prior to breaking right into a beautiful mix of world music elements that transcend linguistic description. Jones later on beckons: “Fall right into that mystery, or it will pull friend under, it’s okay, say goodbye…” calling the listener to relocate from what they assumed was life come the fatality of that truncated view just to climb in newness of sight and also existence.

“Poisoning the Well” complies with with the political tale of “A dead guy (who) walks a overfilled street, into the location the cool assembly meets, Guilty hand stitched on your mouths, and also every finger’s aimed to allude you out, strain to tell, Sound the mission bell, The magistrate is poisoning the well.” This tune brims with secret and tension produced by both the faded indigenous pictures and also the practically piercing nature the the music at time (reminiscent of the finishing of the Deftones “Knife Party”). The lingering inquiry is even if it is the powers the be have actually actually won by shedding chaste blood or have actually they just been toppled by a love the surpasses all understanding.

The pace slows a bit but the tension remains in “Won’t permit You under Again”, a promise to an abandoned/judged friend/lover who Jones challenges/encourages: “I guess you believed you would never fall, never walk the long way home, You’re quiet dancing v the bottle, Trying to break her reckless ways, but you never stop, Every night you try to reference yourself, for someone the you’re not, ns won’t permit you under again.”

“O Theo” is the crown jewel that Land that the Living and one of the ideal songs I have heard this year (This song was powerfully caught in the video clip recorded by Steven bush for his Confessionals series). Jones’ vocals reverberate with palpable weariness together he confesses: “In the half light of the city, She take it off every one of her clothes, ns flew indigenous the elevation of the mountain, right into the valley of dry bones- every alone, and my heart to be still unknown, i was drunk and full that sorrows, i was longing for a home, with nowhere to go, O Theo.” The neighboring musical arrangement and backing vocals fit the track beautifully with additional layers the lament.

Land that the Living continues with the painful however tender join “Sleeping through a Stranger” before exploding into the pronouncement “Waking increase the Dead” in which Jones asks: “Where did ns go wrong, well I shed my head, I desire to run on fire, and be born again!” “Keep the On the Inside” adheres to in i m sorry Jones nearly seems come take earlier what he just sang: “I never want to tell you what I assumed last night, store it ~ above the inside, The setup stone, A fire in motion, however you don’t, desire to understand it carry out you, It’s damaged like a bone inside”

“Cancion de la Noche” (“Song that the Night”) and also “The Angels were Singing” lug the album to its intimate peak. Jones display screens the finest of his handmade all around on “Cancion” as he longingly begs come know: “How perform you love someone?, how do girlfriend love someone so restless and also torn?” before answering “You space beautiful and also true, Dark and also lovely, girlfriend stole my heart before I could give that away, I’ve said enough.” The aural pains is perfectly recorded as the stress and anxiety builds in dynamic layers before the tune gracefully resolves into quiet piano notes. “The Angels to be Singing” tenderly screens Jones’ grief in the loss of his father. His vocals space imbued through gracious restraint and comforting resolve.

Land the the Living accordingly closes with the powerful declaration “Land that the Living” in i beg your pardon Jones confronts the listener with: “No, You can not love in moderation, you dancing v a dead masculine bones, lay your soul on the threshing floor!” before bearing witness: “I heard the distant fight drum, Mockingbirds speak in tongues, Longing because that the day to come, I set my face, Forsook mine fears, I experienced the city with my tears, The darkness will soon disappear, it is in sworn(?) by the son, i am coming home!” as Jones has pertained to know, there is a hope that is firm and true that all points will be made new. This sponsor one the freedom to walk amongst the valleys that sorrow and hurt currently as one ambassador of this certain hope.

Matthew Perryman Jones has actually made the most significant album of his job thus far with Land the the Living. This is not background music no one is the words flung together for the services of happiness or to showcase the music. The is a close to perfect mix of message and also music that will proceed to affect the listener lengthy after the last note on the album.

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Jones will certainly play live in ~ the Loft in Atlanta on Friday, June 22nd as component of this CD release tour. If his show captures even a component of the Duende displayed on this album, then it will be a worthwhile experience.