JblissaquamarineONATHON HERON Skylark CDR (Wishing Chair)

Jonathon Heron is an alter-ego of Jon Chinn, who releases a variety of music under different names via his Wishing Chair imprint. The other of his projects that I'm most familiar with is Darkships, who have featured in these pages a while back. Jon has also played guest lead guitar with the important psych/trance band Astralasia, and has appeared on recent releases of theirs on Fruits de Mer and Talking Elephant Records. Skylark is a bespoke handmade release; the edition I have comprises a CDR, 44-page colour photocopied booklet and hand-printed Wishing Chair logo card within a DVD case with homemade artwork, but there are also several other versions to choose from. A download edition is also available for those who prefer that format. The music takes its inspiration from Craddock Moor in South East Cornwall, as well as being "a very personal look at the marks we leave, death and our relationship with the landscape that we never really leave". The booklet includes GPS references for various places that inspired the music, so that listeners can visit in person. There are many nature photographs, as well as writings that convey a spiritual understanding of nature in an often poetic manner, with references to folklore and mythology alongside archaeology and botany.

The album is characterised in the most part by a brand of psych-folk that is delicate and contemplative yet also often celebratory, whilst detours are taken to encompass the heady and intense spacerock of Theme from 'To the Wilderness', the hypnotic mix of vintage synths and birdsong that is Skylark, the ambient psych-rock of 4 Tree Grove, the musically whimsical yet lyrically heartbreaking folk-pop of Conversation with a Pony, and the raw, thrilling, psych-tinged garage rock of Land of the Living. There are also a couple of tracks, Gold Diggings and Cut Me Down, which are unafraid to explore harsher realities such as suicide. This is a superb album, the excellent music accompanied by a complete artistic package prepared with care and attention to detail. It deserves to reach a wider audience than the very limited nature of this release will provide. It's good to know that Jonathon Heron is working on a sequel which applies a similar approach to the urban landscape. In the meantime, Skylark is available at Kim Harten

 The Sunday experience 24th Sept 2017

Hopefully we’ll be grabbing downloads of this one shortly, for now, two brief teaser videos showcasing the arrival of ‘Skylark’ by Jonathon Heron. Appearing to arrive from a similar sound space as Dan Haywood’s New Hawks’ debut from 2010, ‘Skylark’ refuses easy categorization, a good thing by our reckoning, for the best part from what we’ve had the pleasure of hearing, wiggy and fried psych folk is what’s on offer, opening two tracks ‘theme for to the wilderness’ and ‘heron pool’ freefalling sumptuously each carving out for themselves a time, a place and a style that deeply contrasts from its neighbour, the former a beardy and woozy acid fried proggy trip pill that had we not known better, would have surmised was some secret studio conspiracy hatched upon by a gathering of Cranium Pie and Sendelica types. The latter mentioned, had us much recalling the quick fingered willowy rustics of a certain Scott William Urquhart and with that Messrs Rose and Fahey, yet which somewhere mid-way through takes a curious turn going all hazily lazy eyed and village green pastorally with a genteel nod or two to a maypole gathering of Owl Service, XTC, Wicker Man and Freed Unit types.  Mark Barton







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