A Solid Local Debut
This is a debut for Louisville singer-songwriter John Bohannon (who is also an occasional contributor to the pages of Louisville Music News) and it shows a depth of understanding that is uncommon in someone who hasn't even been out of high school two years yet.
While most of the youngsters today are cranking out the emo or the screamo, Bohannon is more infatuated with acoustic guitars, soundscapes and pop melodies. The first tune on this four-song EP, "Psych Motion," mixes classical guitar strains with eerie sound effects and an echo-y vocal delivery that will absolutely give you chills. The song is a melancholy dream of discontent with lines like "I wake up to my demise," and that pulls you in with its feeling of proximity. This homemade recording somehow puts the listener right in the lap of the musician.
This gives way to "If I Lay Down Tonight," which eases back on the reins and delivers a folky ballad about uncertainty, loneliness and restlessness. While Bohannon isn't the most gifted singer on the planet, he deserves kudos for the delivery, lyric and feel of this tune - it sounds like a lost Johnny Cash number. On top of that, he's an adept guitarist, at the very least in terms of knowing what he wants to deliver and actually making it happen.
"Brett Ashley" carries a similar, if slightly lighter, tone than "Lay" - even though there's an undercurrent of his distaste for war in the lyric: "I'll skip town and catch my feet / and pray for this world's defeat." "MCMLXIII" concludes the disc with a happier song about a reunion of two friends that concludes, "Something tells me this is not the end."
The title of the EP holds quite true to the songs - there is a constant theme of sleep and discontent throughout. And while it is raw, it works surprisingly well. Expect to hear more from this talented young songwriter.
Find your lullaby at www.myspace.com/johnbohannon, or pick up a copy at ear X-tacy.