Jonathan Wilson, Frankie Ray Exclusive pre-release digital EP

Amelia Raitt

By Amelia Raitt

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Frankie Ray Exclusive pre-release digital EP

Jonathan Wilson

“Evoking the spirit of…” is the favored press term when describing Jonathan Wilson's music. Gram Parsons, Jeff Buckley, Nick Drake, Alex Chilton — all of these grandmasters have been mentioned as the subjects that Wilson conjures up on his debut record, Frankie Ray. Take one listen to a track like “Your Ears Are Burning” and it's easy to see why: Wilson, ahem, evokes the feeling of classic country/folk pop without ever really stealing too much from any one source (aside, perhaps, from Morricone in some of his production choices). That's probably why the influences mentioned are so varied: the defining feature of Wilson's music isn't that it sounds like a particular person, it's that it sounds like it's coming from a particular place. That place is the endless, lonely desert and, because of the liberal amount of reverb placed on Wilson's vocals, you can practically feel the tumbleweed blowing past on “Alabaster Dove” and “El Matador.” These understated songs are hushed and gorgeous, proving that no matter who Wilson sounds like, he'll be one to watch for years to come.