sat 13/04/2024

Album: Jono McCleery - Moonlit Parade | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Jono McCleery - Moonlit Parade

Album: Jono McCleery - Moonlit Parade

Warm, intimate songs that pull you close from the young English singer-songwriter

Jono McCleery has one of those voices that once heard, demands your attention, an instrument of richness and depth, and one that has earned him many fans.

The likes of Vashti Bunyan and Tom Robinson helped to crowdfund his recording debut back in 2008, Darkest Light; he steered himself through London’s eclectic electro-acoustic underground music scene alongside the likes of Jamie Woon and the Portico Quartet, and released four more folktronic-textured releases with Ninja Tune.

His sixth album, on the Berlin-based Ninety Days Records, was recorded in early 2021, over five days in Rotterdam, where McCleery currently lives, with bassist Dan Gulino, Steve Pringle on keys, and drummer Dan See. McCleery himself leads on guitar and there’s a strong acoustic slant to the set, which leads off into the intimate spaces that songs throw up between singer and listener, his calm, softly melancholic voice mapping the way through limpid, reflective songs set against the gentlest of backings – predominantly his own acoustic guitar, and some fine piano work from Steve Pringle.

The titles are simple and direct - “Now and Here”, “From a Place”, “A Thing”, “What If”, “The Heart of Another” - and there’s a uniformity of approach, performance and lyricism that makes this compact, 39-minute set a cohesive, intimate, warm and emotionally calming album. Title Track “Moonlit Parade” is buoyed by limpid, shimmering keyboard lines, while second single and album opener “Walk With Me” combines that striking voice with gentle depth-charges of electric keys and the tacking of McCleery’s acoustic finger-picking against a skipping drum pattern from Dan See. You feel that tangible sense of human closeness and warmth rising off these tracks, inspired and fuelled by its absence through the long pandemic and ist lockdowns. These are songs all about opening up.


There’s a strong acoustic slant to this set, which leads off into the intimate spaces that songs throw up between singer and listener


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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