Title - 'Mystery Man' [Vinyl]
Artist - Jonny Couch
A former punk drummer, the Brooklyn-based Jonny Couch reinvented himself as a solo artist in 2016 via the shockingly strong Animal Instinct EP.
Indeed, Animal Instinct introduced the world to Couch's soulful, synth-laced pop, earning him labels like "a Bryan Ferry pop crooner" (Louder Than War) and "unpolished and charming" (High Times).
Released this past August 2nd, 2019 via Damaged Sofa Records, Couch's full-length debut Mystery Man was released to high acclaim within the business and rightly so.
1. 'Mystery Man' (3:30)
2. 'Vertigo' (3:14)
3. 'Irrational Hearts' (3:30)
4. 'Lullaby' (3:07)
5. 'Survival in the Summer' (3:16)
6. 'Impossible Dreamer' (3:13)
7. 'Shadow Eyes' (2:20)
8. 'Upside Down' (2:26)
9. 'Delusions of Grandeur' (2:54)
10. 'Framed' (4:01)
Listening to the new album on vinyl, the way all music should be admired, it opens with the fluctuating '80s grooves and swirling tones of the brilliant title track 'Mystery Man,' and backs that up with the sterner '90s vibe of 'Vertigo,' the free flowing, guitar led 'Irrational Hearts,' and then the mood quietens for 'Lullaby.'
Couch's vocal approach is just so mid-'80s / early-'90s conditioned that the songs are so welcoming to all of us music lovers of a certain age.
And although it took me a few moments, songs such as the aforementioned 'Lullaby' simply ooze those notable tones of a young Chris DeBurgh, which makes listening to Couch even more pleasurable.
Next up, and bringing Side A to a close, is the enormous synth pop of 'Survival in the Summer,' which is yet another glorious stand out track here.
Side B opens with the drum-led, foot-tappin' beauty 'Impossible Dreamer,' a track that is not only one of my own personal favorites, but comes complete with a pinch of Liam Gallagher swagger to it, and that's backed by the gently frenetic 'Shadow Eyes.'
The methodical, psych groove of the mid-tempo 'Upside Down' is another musical gem to behold, with the album rounding out nicely with the pop bounce of both 'Delusions of Grandeur' and 'Framed.'
“My favorite bands are Cheap Trick and Buzzcocks, but this is more of a personal record than a band effort, highly influenced by power pop solo artists like Nick Lowe,” Couch explains.
"Also, some of my favorite New Romantic artists, such as Roxy Music, Duran Duran, Psychedelic Furs. There is a neo-noir theme throughout the album too, starting with the title track, ‘Mystery Man'."
"I am a big fan of neo-noir films like Drive, Body Heat, and most of Brian DePalma’s movies.”
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