Singer-songwriter Jonas Martin’s solo debut, Chokecherry Jam, takes its sweet time to come into focus.
The bulk of this 10-track record has passed by before the vivid Jodie Lever steps into the speakers, and suddenly, the drowsy, messy, bluesy songs in its wake achieve some clarity. Martin, a member of local ensemble Goodnight Ned, isn’t after concise pop songcraft here, but rather creating and sustaining a mood.
Working with producer Jason Burt — Jam was tracked at Nick Jay’s Nest Recording Studios in Dripping Springs, as well as Dallas’ Electrophunck Recording — Martin’s wiry voice fits snugly amid the ruckus being made by collaborators Nate Wedan, Jon Knudson and Wade Cofer, who swap instruments throughout.
Handsomely mounted, if a bit too diffuse (Gabby Gasoline seems more like a jam session sketch than a fully realized song), there’s enough satisfaction in this Jam to merit a taste for the curious.
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Martin will celebrate the release of Chokecherry Jam with Wesley Geiger and Oil Boom at 9 p.m. Saturday at Dallas’ Prophet Bar.
Jacob Furr, ‘Traces: Live From the Waits Room’
A gorgeous coda to Jacob Furr’s heartbreaking 2014 LP Trails & Traces, which sifted through the aftermath of his wife Christina’s untimely death, this seven-track collection was saved for the end of that record’s sessions at Prairie Sun Studios in Cotati, Calif.
Furr, along with Ben Moore and Aaron Stanfield, re-recorded some of Traces in the same room where Tom Waits cut Bone Machine, Mule Variations and Alice.
“Standing in the room, I assure you, has a power,” Furr wrote on his Bandcamp page. “It was made only more powerful by the fact that an image of the Palace of Fine Arts, the building where I fell in love with Christina, sat perched atop the old pump organ in the room.”
In every stripped down note, you can almost hear Furr’s shattered heart mending.
Hannah Claire, ‘Every Little Sound’
Arlington singer-songwriter Hannah Claire’s voice sneaks up on you: breezy, sweet and with a hint of fragility.
Such an instrument is an arresting lure, and one which hooks listeners from the opening moments of Every Little Sound, the 16-year-old’s latest LP.
Collaborating with songwriters Josh Goode and Bradley Prokope (Claire wrote two tracks on her own), Claire spins familiar tales of longing and heartbreak, but manages to make these well-worn tropes feel fresh — Where Did You Go and Terrified is a phenomenal one-two punch.
Preston Jones, 817-390-7713