So, to answer my most asked question in recent years: “When will you be on Spotify?”, the answer is… today.
I’ve recorded a brand new version of Passionflower with my new producer Andy Sorenson. And not just that: I’ve signed with Kscope Records. Wow. I know. It’s a big change, but I’m very happy about it.
Find me on Spotify or your preferred streaming platform by clicking here: https://jongomm.lnk.to/passionflower
So Jon, you’re not independent anymore?
I’ve always been known as a fiercely independent artist, with whatever successes and failures all achieved by my own merit.
In reality, it was a team, with my wife Natasha as my manager for over a decade. And when our daughter was born, it quickly became too hard, too much pressure.
So after my own internal battle like when Clarke Kent fights a drunken Superman clinging to his old powers, I had to admit to myself that a big part of my working alone was that I was scared of being rejected. And because of that I’d fostered a lot of mistrust, to protect myself. I realised that it’s not compromising my ethics to work with other independents who can help me. And maybe it was time to finally grow the f--k up.
Why Kscope Records?
As soon as I mentioned to friends I was looking for a label, Kscope came up twice - once from Dan Tompkins (Tesseract, White Moth Black Butterfly), and once from someone who works in music promotion, and they both thought it would be a good home for me. So I met with the label, and they just want to help artists they love release music. It’s that simple. They don’t want to change me or my music, or control it. And they are so, so patient. Thank f--k.
It feels like a symbiosis of two independent entities. I have not been eaten. In fact they’ve given me freedom I never had.
Kscope being known as a progressive label suits me. I love the music they’ve released over the years, I love Mick Karn’s solo work, I love White Moth Black Butterfly. My music is essentially pop and acoustic, but I hop genres a lot, and sometimes I slip things in which seem normal to me but then people are totally thrown. And all my songs have fairly crazy technical guitar playing built around them, as I try to find the next note I need, the next beat, as I try as best I can to use my guitar to create something beautiful which tells a story.
Why Spotify now?
I’ve always been pretty anti-streaming services, because they seemed to make it so hard to make a living from music. But I’ve watched how they’ve grown, and how much people use them to find the most obscure musical anomalies, and ancient musical artifacts, and how it allows new musicians to flourish. And I’m still standing there like, Canute on the beach, water up to my f--king chin. Time to learn to swim, I guess.
Why did you re-record Passionflower?
Judging by what people tell me, it’s the song everyone wants to be able to stream. And it’s the song that changed my life. But I’ve actually never recorded a version of Passionflower that I’ve been happy with.
So I called up an old friend, from Australia, who’s the most brilliant producer I have ever heard, called Andy Sorenson.
Andy has taken my raw, intimate solo acoustic performance, and placed it in an expanded landscape. There's something about the reverberating stereo space that feels open, like lying beneath an enormous sky, but also the warmth just envelopes you at the same time, like being swaddled in some familiar, trusted place. It’s the sound I’m taking with me for the new music I’m creating now.
This, now, is the Passionflower’s final form.
Step inside this sound, get a feel for it, we’re building more of it every day.