In indie/alternative/folk artist Jon Lewis’ upcoming new album, Panic Rock, there are a few things this artist does that I’d like to point out. Firstly, he collaborated with a lot of other all-star musicians in the Rochester music scene on various tracks on this album. It’s evident he pays close attention to other musicians around him and figures out what specific attributes these artists specialize in that would blend well with his personal music project. There’s an art to collaborating with different artists, pulling qualities from each to create the sound you want and that’s what Lewis effectively does here.
Secondly, Lewis is not only expressing his own hopes, dreams and fears through his music but also focusing on bringing the world positive messages such as, “…forgive all the people you hate..,”, we need more reminders like this, and Lewis does it in a gentle and appealing way. There are a lot of simple, sweet, blissful moments on this album stemming from feel-good melodies. It reminds me of the first time I listened to The Shins and really discovered indie/alternative music. Songs like “Let It Slide” have that “soundtrack to your life” kind of vibe. Some of these songs also remind me of Iron & Wine in terms of their lilting, lullaby quality. Good use of harmony adds vibrant color to a wash of sound splashed across the canvas like watercolors, much like the paintings in the psychedelic, cartoon style drawing on the cover of this album.
Preview some of the songs here and come to the listening party at Village Gate mall in Rochester, NY on July 14th for the official release!