Jonny Polonsky – Kingdom of Sleep

photo by Jason Robinette

Earlier this year, NYC-based singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Jonny Polonsky released a single in the magnetic shape of The Weeping Souls. Whilst capturing the imagination it hinted that his forthcoming new album would be a myriad of temptation and now here Kingdom of Sleep has more than lived up to the suggestion.

The album is the sixth from Polonsky within his 23 years as a solo artist. His first album, Hi My Name is Jonny was released in 1996 with the last, Fresh Flesh, coming out in 2018; both as his releases in between no strangers to attention and acclaim. That time has also seen Polonsky collaborate with the likes of Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond, Maynard James Keenan, Tom Morello and Donovan, and form and play in the short-lived Big Nose with Brad Wilk and Tim Commerford (Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave). Kingdom of Sleep is the striking new adventure in his creative journey, a release self-produced by the artist and mixed and mastered by Mike Tholen (Chris Connelly, Revolting Cocks).

The album opens with Ghost Like Soul, a track featuring the spoken words of Cedric Bixler-Zavala of At the Drive-In/The Mars Volta fame. Immediately a crepuscular radiance envelops ears, keys and vocals a shadow wrapped seduction as an eighties synth pop essence spices the growing charm and touch of the track, Polonsky’s imagination and craft embracing a mist of various hues in the song’s haunting breath. From start to finish ears and imagination were transfixed, the song only increasing its evocative suggestion and presence by the minute.

cover by Jorge Castillo

The following Sign In the Window instantly reveals its indie pop instincts, the opening short choppy riffs of guitar quickly joined by Polonsky’s ever magnetic tones. In turn a melodic sparkle breaks as just as radiant keys brew their own magnetism within the increasingly infectious encounter. There is a bright Frank Black meets James Cook essence to the song which only adds to its catchiness before The Weeping Souls once more had ears and attention hooked. Again temptation is immediate, guitar and voice colluding in a rich lure draped in a seventies/eighties suggestion of indie pop offering up echoes of bands such as T-Rex, XTC and Love and Rockets.

Openly Polonsky’s songwriting is matched by his imagination and craft in strength and virulence, next up No Tears proving the suggestion with its individual mix of electronic and indie pop within an emotion soaked serenade. It too shares the instinctive catchiness which springs from every track within the album, its gentle sway and emotive intimacy no restraint to an inherent contagiousness as epitomised one again within the following Take Me Home. A darker climate hugs ears straight away; its breath almost claustrophobic but the evocative mist across a melodic crystal at the song’s heart springing psych nurtured sonic sighs. Fascination leaks from every note and syllable, keys and vocals the source of rich temptation within the track’s equally potent atmospheric haunting.

You Turn Me On simply charmed the senses next while the Aenerone broke upon ears like a dew blessed melodic sunrise; both tracks absorbing pieces of infection loaded emotive pop woven with originality and undisguised passion. As within most tracks within Kingdom of Sleep there is a mercurial essence adding a suggestion of contrasting emotions or intensity, a drama which only escalates their captivation.

The album ends with A Willing Eye, an acoustic hearted, electronically escalated seduction which maybe took longer to seduce than others before it but with its thick drama and web of irresistible sounds grew to enthral and set another firmly memorable moment within the similarly fascinating release.

Kingdom of Sleep is an album which had us hooked and absorbed from pretty much its first breath but inescapably so with every subsequent listen so we can only recommend you run the rewarding risk of ensnarement too.

Kingdom of Sleep is released May 11th via Ghostworks Recordings; available@ https://jonnypolonsky.bandcamp.com/

https://www.jonnypolonsky.com/   https://www.facebook.com/JonnyPolonskyMusicPage   https://twitter.com/jonnypolonsky

Pete RingMaster 09/05/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Pictures in the mind, a singles round-up

With our feet now firmly into 2020 we welcome another collection of new singles via Shauna at Shameless PR and a truly eclectic mix of sounds and flavours they offered our imaginations to play with.

The first sees British electronic duo Broads come together with fellow Norfolk based artist and songstress Milly Hirst. Theirs has been an on-going collaboration over the years and sees a new album, Ollust, unveiled in March. Ahead of its release they have just revealed Happisburgh (Single Edit), an atmospheric and provocative ambient crafted instrumental which as it hugged ears swiftly had the imagination composing its own interpretations.

Pronounced ‘haze-bruh’, Happisburghis built around ideas of a town disappearing into the sea – history being rendered in front of us, and future folk tales falling into place.”  It is a piece of music which even in its relatively minimalistic shape is rich in intimation and emotion with field recordings aligning with suggestive melodies and at times the almost drone like touch of pianos.

The tale it suggests is open for the listener to further weave with, every listen opening new avenues and vistas to imagine and explore much as the accompanying B-side Red Pits incites with its own individual sonic theatre. It is a darker and tenser piece but it too has a light within its shadows which inspires thoughts as they paint their exposition.

Happisburgh is a beguiling and haunting departure from the incessant trespass of the day and with eyes closed a moment in time which involves much more than just ears.

In rich contrast Vultures is a track which has all its creative statement in its rich web of sound but equally provided an experience which haunted the senses and imagination. The single is the new offering from Norwegian psych post-punk outfit Mayflower Madame and it too comes from a larger proposition due for release in March, the band’s new album titled Prepared For A Nightmare.

The Oslo band was formed in 2011 and soon established themselves on the national underground scene though it was through debut album, Observed in a Dream in 2016, and more so the Premonition EP two years later that they really stirred attention and acclaim much further afield. The sound of Trond Fagernes (vocals, guitars, bass), Håvard Haga (guitars), and Ola J. Kyrkjeeide (drums) has proved a captivation of psychedelic rock, shoegaze and post punk and it has to be said has been no more potent than within the delicious dark haunt of Vultures.

A track centred around “feelings of excess, lust and greed, always wanting and needing more,” Vultures is almost ravenous in its contagious breath and insistence. Nagging post punk rhythms and steely grooves provide the riveting  core to which spiralling psych guitars and harmonic vocals cast their spellbinding enterprise yet there is much more to its atmospherically evocative character which brings the single further alive.

It is a stunning track and quickly inflamed an impatient anticipation in us for that impending album.

This March also sees the release of Kingdom of Sleep, the new album from American singer-songwriter, guitarist, multi-instrumentalist and producer Jonny Polonsky. New single The Weeping Souls is the first teaser for the release, a song which it has to be said swept us up in its infectious embrace and proceeded to share a certain light on the day.

A solo artist for over 23 years, Polonsky has worked with the likes of Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond, Tom Morello, Pete Yorn, Dixie Chicks, Maynard James Keenan, Minnie Driver, and Donovan along the way as well as collaborated and played with a host of artists. Kingdom of Sleep is his sixth album and if The Weeping Souls is a clue to what it holds, the full-length is going to have ears eagerly waiting.

Guitar and voice immediately hug ears, rhythms holding back but still a pungent texture before steering the contagious stroll the song breaks into. It is a gait which twists from swing to canter and back across the track but as the music, one which is as unpredictable as it is mesmeric. Listening to the song thoughts of XTC and Love and Rockets came to mind, a delicious spicing which only elevated the temptation of the encounter even further again resulting in a certain intrigue for the bigger proposal it comes from.

Lastly we hope to spark your curiosity the way of Strangest Thing from Swedish-Australian indie pop outfit Tiny Fighter and no surprise it too is a taster for something larger to come, and a rather flavoursome appetiser it is too.

Based in Stockholm, apparently Tiny Fighter came about from a chance meeting between Therese Karlsson (a truck driver from Kalmar, Sweden) and Tim Spelman (a doctor from Melbourne, Australia) in 2017 in that great Swedish city. Since then the band has released a host of successful praise gathering singles alongside an EP and live album. Strangest Thing is our introduction to the band and we eagerly wait to hear much more starting with their forthcoming debut studio album, Going Home.

Strangest Thing is an eagerly infectious affair, its gentle but eager start soon breeding a strong catchiness, one definitely encouraged by the rousing character of the bass and Karlsson’s magnetic vocals. Keys and guitar weave further melodic enticement across this already captivating stroll, everything carrying a virulent breath which only escalates once aligning together.

With a touch of The Primitives and The Cranberries to the song, Strangest Thing lured keen attention with greater lust by the listen, so again roll on the album.

Happisburgh and the album Ollust from Broads and Milly Hirst are out now via Humm Recordings; available @ https://broadsofnorfolk.bandcamp.com/album/happisburgh-1

Upcoming Broads and Milly Hirst Shows

02 April 2020 – Octagon Chapel, Norwich

03 April 2020 – Thetford Guildhall

04 April 2020 – Oulton Chapel

05 April 2020 – Strangers’ Hall, Norwich

10 April 2020 – Happisburgh St. Mary’s Church Rooms

11 April 2020 – Dereham Memorial Hall

https://www.facebook.com/Broadsofnorfolk   https://www.facebook.com/millyhirstmusic

Mayflower Madame’s Vultures is out now with Prepared For A Nightmare released March 27, both through Only Lovers Records and to be available @ https://mayflowermadame.bandcamp.com/album/prepared-for-a-nightmare.

Upcoming Tour Dates:

March 27th – Desert Stars Festival – Joshua Tree

March 28th – Bar Sinister – Los Angeles

March 29th – Whistle Stop – San Diego

March 30th – Lunchbox – Phoenix

April 2nd – Lo-Fi – Seattle

April 3rd – Out From The Shadows Festival – Portland

April 4th – Elbo Room – Oakland

https://www.facebook.com/mayflowermadame

The Jonny Polonsky single, The Weeping Souls, is out now with the album, Kingdom of Sleep due for release digitally, on CD and clear vinyl with gatefold sleeve on March 6th, both via Ghostworks Recordings with pre-ordering of the latter available now @ https://www.jonnypolonsky.com/music and https://jonnypolonsky.bandcamp.com/

February Europe Tour Dates:

2/14 BRUGGE-De Kelk

2/15 MAASEIK-Jazzclub Sjuur

2/16 ANTWERPEN-Tram 3

2/19 GENT-Kinky Star

2/20 SINT NIKLAAS-Casino

2/21 BRUSSEL-to be determined

2/22 LEUVEN-Depot

https://www.jonnypolonsky.com/   https://www.facebook.com/JonnyPolonskyMusicPage   https://twitter.com/jonnypolonsky

Strangest Thing is available from Tiny Fighter via Bay Terrace Records February 7th with Going Home released March 27th @ https://tinyfighterz.bandcamp.com

https://www.tinyfighter.org   https://www.facebook.com/tinyfighterz   https://twitter.com/TinyFighterz

Pete RingMaster 07/02/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright