JONATHAN WILSON // NPR WORLD CAFE
Jonathan Wilson is practically overflowing with music, if his debut album Gentle Spirit is any indication. The album runs 78 minutes, with several songs spanning more than six minutes. That’s a lot of material for a debut, but Wilson is no newbie — he’s worked with the likes of Elvis Costello, Robbie Robertson and Jackson Browne.
Gentle Spirit got its start in Laurel Canyon, the famous L.A. mecca for folk, and Wilson’s efforts to re-create the classic canyon sound fill the record. The album was written in between performances, on the road, and with a conscious effort to capture a “dreary day in the canyon,” as Wilson put it. The result is a mesmerizing slice of dreamy pop which also incorporates country and rock ‘n’ roll. Wilson carefully focuses on the instrumentation, often using his voice as a quiet piece of his compositions.