As a veteran of the N.C. scene, John Harrison has helmed the lush and loud rock outfit North Elementary while helping hold the reins of Potluck Foundation, a far reaching collective of musicians who consistently turn out quality releases from a myriad of artists. On top of all that, Jphono1 has been a solo outlet for John for nearly half a decade. Starting with his debut record “Living is Easy” and continuing on through a string of singles, EP’s, and the outstanding album, “Know Your Clouds”, Jphono1 has been a vehicle for John to explore the quieter side of his sonic life.
While earlier Jphono1 records were a way for John to stretch his multi-instrumentalist muscles by crafting atmospheric acoustic-tinged songs, the most recent electrified release, “Time in the Chevron”, is a marked departure from what came before. The most notable difference is the appearance of a full band. This is the mark of a seasoned musician; knowing you could do something alone, but bringing in others because you believe they will make it better. Enter John W Jaquiss (Sunnyslope(s), Shit Horse) and Patrick O’Neill (Some Army, The Wyrms, Lacy Jags). Both men are accomplished multi-instrumentalists in their own rights, and they hold down the rhythm section of drums and bass, respectively.
Jphono1 songs have often worn the mark of alternate tunings that travel through open string drones like visitors passing briefly by unknown towns. The songs that round out “Time in the Chevron”, however, don’t pass through so much as they thoroughly explore. With trusty friends by his side, John illuminates and elucidates with succinct riffs and rhythms that lend a krauty component to an otherwise wholly American vibe. These tracks take their time living in the groove. Unconventional song structures unravel to reveal verses ruminating on subjects as deep and vast as cosmic and geologic impermanence, or as domestic and down to earth as an afternoon at home. Despite the wide ranging subject matter, this is perhaps the most cohesive record of the Jphono1 catalog. Sonic themes recur and twist throughout each composition. It’s clear that, while the destination is part of the parcel, it’s the discovery that Jphono1 is down with.