By Chris Mineral
June Jones, a most unique Melbourne musical artist, launched her brilliant new vinyl record Leafcutter (Emotion Punk Records) upstairs at Rock Steady Records located on the first floor at Mitchell House, corner Lonsdale and Elizabeth streets.
Around Chinese New Year celebrations, driving into the Year Of The Ox, this launch was superb. Jones has a bit of Nina Simone in the strong sassy undercurrent of her vocal delivery. There’s the heart of Bessie Smith too. Big Art Music from previous album Diana was the benchmark for fans of June Jones’s music and she has delivered.
June Jones is a classy musician, a brilliant songwriter, a very creative wordsmith. Anyone who can put the Mariana Trench in a song deserves some credit. There’s beautiful poetic imagery in Leafcutter. Real warmth, playfulness and humanity to these songs.
The feel and frequency of the synths that are utilised in the song Home are reminiscent of the texture of synths the Human League have on their song The Black Hit of Space from their Travelogue album. Analogue synths that are bright, bold, confident, firm in the mix.
The engineering and production on Leafcutter is done by Jones herself and it is sensational.
There are moments where you can hear Vangelis in terms of beautiful majestic sustained chords, moments of loping melodicism of Depeche Mode.
When she takes all the instruments away the voice is strong, present, front and centre – a very Aretha Franklin attitude. Therapy has a great baritone saxophone in the mix.
Like the 2019s vinyl album Diana there are nine tracks on Leafcutter. June Jones has delivered a strong, poetic and passionate collection of songs for Leafcutter. Scented candles count as medicine.
After performing a great set at the Forum Theatre on March 18 supporting Stella Donnelley, Jones will be appearing on Radio 3RRR’s Out On The Patio radio show for a special Livestream performance of Leafcutter. Go to the RRR website for details. They will archive the show.
A.Swayze & The Ghosts debut album Paid Salvation landed on Planet Earth in September 2020. What a time to launch your debut album – it is an absolute ripper of a debut. The great thing about this band is that they sound like a lot of sensational bands in your vinyl record collection. Tom Verlaine’s lyrical, angular attack and languid fluid guitar playing is there.
Evil Eyes sounds like The Saints. A.Swayze & The Ghosts played it on the ABCTV show The Sound, recorded live from Albert Hall, Launceston, red strobe lights pulsing.
Paid Salvations opening track It’s Not Alright sounds like a song from a Geelong band.
Connect To Consume is a very catchy and real punk rock song with attitude, as large as Chris Bailey. Swayze has an incredible, dynamic vocal delivery and stage presence.
Mess Of Me is sensational, it’s Graham Parker and The Rumour and Joe Jackson at one point.
A. Swayze & The Ghosts have the chemistry and timing of a spacecraft on an elliptical orbit around Mars, sampling the atmosphere for methane, oxygen, carbon …
This magnificent band will be playing The Corner Hotel on April 3 •