New Jon(athan) Fickes material? Hell yes! aka... Fruit Pies strikes again!



As promised, here is part II of this weeks blog.  I wrote more than I anticipated about my beloved Green Bay Packers and then got caught up watching silly BRETT FAVRE VIDEOS, then LIVE GENESIS VIDEOS (Phil is such an underrated singer, probably due to his obsession with pleated pants), then SHAKIRA VIDEOS (goddamn, she's so sexy, like, way too fucking sexy), then, at five or six bourbons in, I forgot what I was doing and starting watching "Skins" on Netflix (Cassie still breaks my heart in each episode she's in) before drinking a glass of Kava and finally falling asleep...  Wait, what was I talking about again?  Oh yeah, music.




This week revealed the long-awaited debut single, and accompanying video, from Jon(athan) Fickes' new project called A View of Earth from the Moon.  The song, "Distance Runner," gives us a taste of what we can expect from his upcoming album "Closer to a Ghost" which will be released this Friday, 12/1/2017.  And, holy shit, if this is the taste, I can't wait for the fucking meal.


In "Distance Runner," Fickes is hurling choruses at us straight down from pop-heaven, delivering cheeky, yet clever (and seemingly throwaway, yet casually brilliant), lines like "your mind is like a blender, you're like a banana" while drenching us in wonderfully warm, distorted,  Oasis-style guitars that really tie the song together.  The crux of the song finally reveals itself when Fickes earnestly, and perhaps desperately, asks "Are you running away?  Or, are you chasing something?"  The juxtaposition of this revelation against the almost willfully-deceiving upbeat nature of the song underscores the sadness Jonathan is barely trying to hide from the world while calling for us to let it out and join him.  He knows what he's doing, and I love every minute of it.


There's a joy that comes through the music, despite it's underlying heartache, which can probably be attributed to Jonathan taking over every aspect of the music ("I guess you could call it a solo record because this was the first time I did everything by myself. No live band in the studio, just me racking up countless hours of studio time, haha.”) and forging this into "everything I've always wanted a record to be," according to Fickes.  The established history for singer/songwriters breaking off and bogarting an album is dim, but Jonathan pulls it off beautifully.  This feels like his most developed and complete album to date.  Yes, we reveled in the effortless genius of "Never Love Again (It's Doubtful)" but that turned out to be the carefully curated charcuterie plate before this, our veal parmesan of a meal.  We knew it would be delicious, but we didn't know just how fucking delicious it would be.


The video for "Distance Runner" is equally as fun as we follow Fickes on his journey through time and space.  OK, just through space, or, at least, the 180 miles from Seattle to Moses Lake, WA (Jonathan's hometown), as he laments his inability to literally travel back in time (HUEY LEWIS STYLE) and tries to live, if only for a moment, in the past by going back to his childhood home and playing music with his old friends in the living room of his parents' house.  The video assumes the theme of Jonathan trying to run, again literally, from his current state of loneliness and disappointment by temporarily escaping the temporal world and reveling in the comfort of a fondly remembered youth.  Despite this, and after his long journey, he dutifully turns and heads back to reality; almost as if waking from the dream or realizing the idealized version of returning home doesn't exist, or perhaps having already fulfilled his nostalgic needs there's no reason to stay.  Along the way, there are countless beautifully constructed shots as we take this idyllic trip alongside Fickes.  Kudos to the director who instills us with a sense of wonder while we root for, and hope, Jonathan finds what he is looking for, knowing full well it's probably just a momentary distraction from himself that he's after.


I was lucky enough to hear the album in total and I won't spoil it, but, Jesus, you're in for a treat (and so are all the rest of you not named "Jesus").  I'll have a full album review here in the next couple weeks, as I want time to fully marinate in the tunes like a soon-to-be delicious piece of chicken.


As always, keep a good head and always carry a lightbulb...