Dear readers, you will need a time machine, a cardigan sweater, and a pipe with fragrant vanilla spice flavored tobacco to truly appreciate Jonny Smokes‘ newest release. Reflections is steeped in early 70’s styled ballads, thickly doubled vocals, and intricate guitar noodling.
You’ll need to fire up the time machine and set it for nineteen seventy something. Begin by putting on that old cardigan sweater; if it has reinforced elbows, great! Put some of that sweet spiced tobacco into your pipe, take a few tokes, let the smoke settle and hit play. You will be drawn into the introspective mind of Jonny Smokes right from the first track, “Over.” As he pines over the loss of love and what once was, stare out the window and ponder your own relationships in a nostalgic way. Continue on this thoughtful reflection until you reach the track “Stray.” The EP picks up and heads forward into time, hints of the 80’s briefly before heading straight back into the 70’s with the saccharine ballad “Mirror.”
Depending on how you feel about drinking, grab some whiskey, and either pour it down the drain or your gullet as you sink into the soft swing of “Complete.” He then reminds you as you take a few more puffs and realize you look a little ridiculous in a cardigan sweater, smoking a pipe, that he’s in love with a moment lost “Forever,” and still just a “Dreamer.”
Here’s what I love about Jonny, he vividly wears his emotions on the sleeve of his perfectly tattooed arms as he strums his tears and emotions in brutal emotional honesty. His lyrics are intelligent, rich with a tapestry of beautiful images, and at times poetic. Reflections is comfortable like that cardigan sweater, rich and complex like the pipe tobacco, with a retro time machine trip into the 70’s. It warms up with each spin like an old friend who needs a bit of love.
If you’re into Jim Croce, James Taylor, and similar artists, you’re going to like this EP.
(You can purchase the Reflections EP via CDBaby, and sample a track from the LP, “Dreamer,” below.)