I can’t remember exactly how I came across Jonathan Wilson’s album Gentle Spirit, but it’s one for the books. I’ve been listening to it casually for a bit now with the impression of calm vibes and a flowing, easy going feel. The songs each have their own stories to tell, Wilson expresses emotions through beautiful arrangements of acoustic guitar, light percussion and his gentle vocals.
If you need some music to purge your mind and body, read on for my full review of Gentle Spirit and give some of the chunes a listen.
“Can We Really Party Today”
The first track I want to talk about is the one that first caught my attention. “Can We Really Party Today” starts off with Wilson’s gentle acoustic strumming and soothing vocals. He leads us in slowly before he introduces maracas and other minimalist percussion. As a nearly seven minute chune, Wilson has plenty of room to develop the vibe.
At around the 3:30 mark, he takes us off on a journey with piano and strings. Finally the song reaches it’s subtle climax as all of the different elements come together and are perfectly complemented by strikes of the cymbals. Much like the rest of his tracks, “Can We Really Party Today” is a slow burner but a must hear.
“Desert Raven” (Video Above)
“Desert Raven” starts off on a different note. Trippy synthesizers turn into a hypnotizing electric guitar melody. Wilson’s vocals break through reminiscent of Pink Floyd. It’s beautiful – a full eight minutes of glory. As he rests his voice the familiar guitar arrangement demands your attention. Wilson breaks the pattern by blasting off into a psychedelic guitar solo. Another must listen.
“The Way I Feel”
Another tune that I had to include in the review is entitled “The Way I Feel”. Right from the start I get 70′s vibes with a Tame Impala sounding guitar. Slightly echoed and distorted vocals make me feel in a haze. Wilson rips through guitar riffs as he prepares to bring the song to a close.
The Bottom Line
If you appreciate rock and roll you should stop reading the review and listen to Gentle Spirit. There is a beautiful range of musical sounds and experiences on the album. Some songs will invoke memories of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, some will urge Pink Floyd and others will make you feel something else entirely.
There are some softer, slower tunes and there are others that will scream pyschedelic rock bliss. I urge anyone and everyone to listen to the LP – it is available in all the usual places (stream it in full on SoundCloud or Spotify / buy it on iTunes). Press play and let the chunes flow.