Jun 23, 2012
When a man with a slight warble to his voice sings with an acoustic guitar, it's hard to escape a few inevitable descriptors, chief among them being "folk," "intimate," and "Bob Dylan." Simon Joyner's quasi-barebones folk and melancholy yet resigned lyrics remind me of mis-60s Dylan ("Desolation Row," "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues," "Tangled Up in Blue") or Leonard Cohen ("Suzanne," "So Long, Marianne"). Indeed, "Out Into the Snow," from Joyner's A Collection of Tracks from the Team Love Library exhibits a mastery both in structure and content of a genre once dominated by those east coast poets. Yet this is the problem with trying to describe someone as alluring and breathtaking as Joyner: comparisons and analogies get twisted not because his music is difficult to classify but precisely because it's so familiar and honest, a difficulty Joyner-worshipper Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes) has battled with throughout his career.
Someone like Simon Joyner is not seeking to reinvent anything; rather, he uses the most basic (and therefore the most difficult) tool in self-expression: directness. And the effect is mesmerizing. And if you don't trust me, how about this: Beck listed a Joyner album in his top 10 for Rolling Stone once. Oh, and ultra-famed/worshipped British DJ John M*****f****** Peel, whose endorsement of a band's single could virtually ensure their success, played Joyner's album The Cowardly Traveller Pays His Toll in its entirety on air.
Simon Joyner joins us on July 8th as part of a rare tour promoting his new album Ghosts. You can stream "Out Into the Snow" below.
Posted by MA
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