TOTW #13 - Philip Jonathan
Our belated return to TOTW features the talents of Philip Jonathan (Pictured).
Folklore loves nothing more than getting sent a submission that makes us sit up and pay attention, something from a new artist early in their journey is even more exciting and Philip Jonathan ticks both of these boxes with his submitted track 'I, Hope'.
With this being only the second track Jonathan has released he's certainly starting with a bang. There's an immediate pull when the track starts due to the natural elements and clearly gifted songwriting at play but the production on I, Hope cannot be overlooked.
Mature and lifting, it gives his vocal the space to breath that it needs with his delicate and affectionate delivery. Credits lie with Paul Worthington (Xosiacmusiq) for the production duties and it's clearly a great match between artist and producer on this project.
Based in the North East of England (The Newcastle football fan in me is delighted to learn this) there's something wonderfully British in Philip Jonathan's sound, with the track starting with an acoustic guitar, sliding strings and delicate keys we are immediately placed somewhere in the countryside, but it's a distinctly British countryside... The accompanying vocal that joins is charming, alluring and understated and despite the low-hanging fruit comparisons you could make to early Ben Howard or Roo Panes there is still more than enough here to truly make this sound his own, a feat that songwriters early in their journey don't often achieve. It leans on these influences without falling head first into them and losing it's essence.
I was found by the river of the damned
The waters rising, one more minute till I drowned
The hands that laid me, wrapped me tenderly in white
Fingers found me, reaching desperately for life
The official Video to 'I, Hope' by Philip Jonathan.
Songs that stand the test of time and get repeated years later, for me, are the ones that are lyrically very strong. Songs that have words that still hit that part of you like they did when you first heard them. Perhaps the lyrics of the chorus strike me particularly on a personal level (Father, where, where shall I go?) and therefore I found a connection instantly, but the whole track is written like poetry.
Without wishing to focus too much on an artists age or stage of career, it is certainly eye brow raising and impressive to read the words and find them so dense and interesting. It has you wondering what lies ahead when (hopefully) an album drops and you have a lyricist that is able to show us his writing talents across 9, 10, 11 songs.
We are waiting for the third instalment here at Folklore HQ and can't wait to see what is in store over the following months for Philip Jonathan. Hopefully we can get him away from his native North East and down south for a show sometime soon...