Jon Khan took the name of his band Blue Vervain from a medicinal plant believed to help with anxiety, stress and insomnia. And while Blue Vervain’s music won’t put you to sleep, it might just provide a relaxing respite from a hectic day.
This is even more true for the group’s ambitious and beautiful new release, “Seasons”, available now on all streaming platforms via Mint 400 Records.
“It’s a six-song EP with a real orchestra recorded on all the songs,” Khan said. “It’s definitely one of the most ambitious pieces of music I’ve put together.”
Blue Vervain’s 2021 album “North Carolina” set the blueprint for the band’s sound, which aspires to remain personal and rustic while indulging in lush arrangements and big, bold melodies. “Seasons” amplifies all of these traits. Above all, the album sounds good; Khan was never hampered by his passion for Fleetwood Mac, and the orchestral arrangements here swell and throb with the majesty that the 70s brought to orchestral rock.
But the album also remains surprisingly intimate. Khan’s high, high pitched voice still sounds like he’s singing for you, not the back row of the arena. Her emotions are center stage, never forced or faked. He possesses the rare ability to move and enchant the listener.
Khan also uses the subtle device of starting a song simply, with just his voice or a single guitar, invoking a singer/songwriter vibe, drawing the listener into the lyrics, then letting the orchestra build and swell. throughout the song.
The rich and abundant tapestry of the “Seasons” never proves to be so pompous or pretentious. It’s music that will keep you company on a long car ride, a pleasant walk or a rainy evening.
ADAM & THE PLANTS ARE SATISFIED
Adam Copeland has played in many of my favorite Jersey City bands, including the Meltdowns, Ben Franklin and Black Water, so everything he does tends to be interesting.
Lately he’s been concentrating on writing, recording and putting on shows with The Mutts, so his own band Adam & the Plants has been relegated to a solo project. Thankfully, Copeland recently found time to gift us with some new A&TP material “in which,” he noted, “I play multiple instruments on my own.”
“Satisfied,” with its catchy melody, choppy beat, and bright, upbeat tune, reminds us that while things could be better, we can also be satisfied that they aren’t worse.
“For the end, I waited until my wife and child were out to scream at me at the top of their lungs and scare the neighbors,” Copeland said. “Sorry, neighbors.”
“Child Emperor,” with its kaleidoscopic arrangement, tinkling synths, and layered instrumentation, steps into the realm where chamber indie collides with progressive rock — two disparate flavors that, like peanut and chocolate, work surprisingly well. together.
“The Party/’Take Care” similarly pushes indie pop to a more complex dimension, with layered synthesizers. The short track effectively works as two songs in one, hence the title. First, Copeland offers a feast for the ears; then, in a graceful waltz tempo, he reminds us to “watch what you say, watch what you do”.
“The idea for now is that I just put things on SoundCloud when they’re done, and ultimately I’ll pay someone to master them and put them together in an album,” Copeland said.
New material from Adam & The Plants can be heard at soundcloud.com/adamandtheplants.
ANDREA BENHAM LOVES YOU
Weehawken’s Andrea Benham – substitute teacher by day, aspiring pop star by night – has an impressive resume, having released tracks on top dance music labels with some of the biggest producers in the business.
She has just released her latest single, produced by DJ Matt Reid and John Kano, featuring Benham performing “Love You”, available on Youtube and other streaming platforms.
This one’s for the club and the dance floor, with Benham’s ethereal vocals seductively calling over an insinuating, insistent beat.
Is it noisy? Yes. Is it hypnotic? Yes. Does it get under your skin and move you? Oh yes!
To learn more, visit andreabenham.com.
LIVE MUSIC SCHEDULE
Alongside the release of new EP Blue Vervain, Mint 400 Records is hosting another party at The Pet Shop, 193 Newark Ave., Jersey City, on Thursday, March 24, featuring jazz trio The Funky JC’s, Underlined Passages, Jerry Lardieri of The Brixton Riot, and an acoustic performance by the Milwaukees. The 8 p.m. show in the PS Wine Bar basement is free.
The Funky JC’s will be back on Thursday, April 21 for a 100% jazz program with Boston’s City of Four.
All records recorded for Mint 400, which you can find online at Mint400Records.com.
“Art & Sound” is a community event benefiting local art, music and businesses taking place at Green Space Studios, 540 39th St., Bldg. A, Union City on Friday, March 25, with performances by Wave Magnetik, Mood Merchant, Sir Synthesis and The Latin Jazz Factor.
Advance tickets for the 6 p.m. show are available for $20 on Eventbrite.com.
Discover Jim Testa’s new Facebook page, facebook.com/Constant-Listener-Jim-Testa-On-Hudson-Music-108591071738628. He can also be reached at [email protected].