The Bones of J.R. Jones – Slow Lightning (2023)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48 kHz | Time – 40:00 minutes | 416 MB | Genre: Blues Rock, Americana, Alt. Country
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Tone Tree Music – The Bones of J.R. Jones
The New York-based artist The Bones of J.R. Jones announced Slow Lighting, his first full length album release in more than 5 years, will be released on October 13 via Tone Tree Music. The announcement arrives with the release of the album’s propulsive debut single “Heaven Help Me.”
About “Heaven Help Me,” Jonathon Linaberry (best known by his stage name The Bones of J.R. Jones) explains: “The beat came first. I used a TR-06 and focused on a syncopated rhythm. I wanted to write something that moved and had the ability to grow through the song. To almost become cacophonous by the end. Hearing the original eight bars of rhythm over and over again, I started playing a single note on the guitar to try to fill in the holes in the beat.
“All my love pouring out of my eyes is drowning me tonight” just fell out. I didn’t know what it meant but it felt right so I went running with it. I didn’t have an intention for this song other than movement. It wasn’t until after the song was fleshed out that I think I discovered what the song was about. It’s about being overwhelmed by the ugliness and joys of life. The relentlessness of it. How it can boil over in you, and how we all are just looking for a release sometimes.”
As the title suggests, the 12-track collection Slow Lightning is raw and visceral, pulsating with an understated electrical current that flows through his cinematic brand of roots noir. The songs grapple with doubt and desire in the face of nature and fate, and frequent collaborator Kiyoshi Matsuyama’s production is eerily hypnotic to match, with haunting synthesizers, vintage drum machines, and ghostly guitars.
“I felt very lost at the time I was writing these songs,” Linaberry confesses. “It was a moment of deep crisis and anxiety, but I knew the only way out was through, which meant I just had to bring myself to the table every day and put in the work.”
Where the most recent Bones of J.R. Jones release, 2021’s A Celebration, drew inspiration from a trip into the vast, desert expanses of the American southwest, the songs that began taking shape in upstate New York this time around were more difficult to pin down, seeming to come and go of their own accord.
“That’s where the notion of ‘slow lightning’ was born,” Linaberry explains. “It’s about a power you can’t control, a force that’s bigger than you and follows its own path no matter how badly you want to mold or direct it. That’s what this record felt like, and it’s something I had to figure out how to embrace.”
The Bones of J.R. Jones is a New York-based songwriter, storyteller, visual artist and “one man band who can hold an audience rapt, rendering the cacophony of a stage full of musicians utterly unnecessary” (Noisey). His 2021 EP, A Celebration, was praised by American Songwriter, Under The Radar and Atwood Magazine, who called it “an intimate, visceral outpouring of vulnerability, reflection, connection, and wonder.”
01. The Bones of J.R. Jones – Animals (03:49)
02. The Bones of J.R. Jones – Slow Lightning (03:29)
03. The Bones of J.R. Jones – The Good Life (03:58)
04. The Bones of J.R. Jones – Blue Skies (02:59)
05. The Bones of J.R. Jones – Preservation (01:48)
06. The Bones of J.R. Jones – The Flood (04:25)
07. The Bones of J.R. Jones – Heaven Help Me (03:04)
08. The Bones of J.R. Jones – I Ain’t Through With You (03:25)
09. The Bones of J.R. Jones – Love Is a Sickness (02:57)
10. The Bones of J.R. Jones – I’ll See You in Hell (04:05)
11. The Bones of J.R. Jones – Salt Sour Sweet (03:34)
12. The Bones of J.R. Jones – Baby, Run (02:23)