Polished yet psychedelic: an oxymoron that describes the sounds coming from Portland songwriter Jackson Boone. After doing a little research I found Jackson to be a fan of 60’s rock and blues, which is extraordinarily apparent on his sophomore release, Natural Changes. Fans of folk-rock with a psych theme will be into this.
This album is really, really thoughtfully created. It starts with the organization. With “Lala” as the opener and the title track to close, you really get a sense that this was all devised with book-ends in a decisive musical journey. It’s refreshing to see an artist focus on the album as a whole, rather than a collection of independent songs. That’s fine too, but this really one tells a story.
Jackson Boone’s songwriting abilities shine in myriad ways on this album, building on his previous release. I really enjoyed the melodies on “Lovely Low.” Even for a more mellow song, these hooks stayed with me after a couple listens.
Boone really toys with some cool stuff here melodically. “Runaway” is another track that stood out to me, I just love the groove. Lead single, “Moonbeam,” is pretty fire as well with the bridge going all Hendrix for some real psychedelic jams. A very dynamic song.
I was very impressed by the work turned in by Jackson’s bandmates, as well as the overall instrumentation on “Natural Changes.” Further, “Dolphin Turned Into A Cat” is an insanely dynamic song, ranging from acoustic guitar, to synths, to some things I can’t even recognize but it sounds like a wah pedal was involved. You have to check this one out.
“Secret Capricorn” is a track that really allows the drums to shine. There’s plenty of important pocket playing across the whole album, but this particular song features some clever intro fills and the beat interacts with the song in the best way, pushing the chords onward.
This album is a whole, complete thought. It fully encapsulates Lennon/Harrison psychedelics with producer Riley Geare’s extremely polished touch. The production was spot on with Boone’s influences, utilizing the slap-back vocals, plenty of warbles and diverse sounds, but tied together in an extremely well-mixed Folk-Rock setting.
Stream Jackson Boone’s Natural Changes below and look for them out on the road this Fall.
Jackson Boone Upcoming Tour Dates:
09.22.15 – Memphis. TN @ Murphy’s
09.23.15 – Nashville, TN @ The Five Spot
09.24.15 – Oxford, MI @ The Blind Pig
09.25.15 – New Orleans, LA @ Hi Lo
09.26.15 – Austin, TX @ Ghost Cat Lounge
09.27.15 – Santa Fe, NM @ Art Space
09.30.15 – San Diego, CA @ Merrow
10.01.15 – Los Angeles, CA @ Gnarburger
10.01.15 – Los Angeles, CA @ Warehouse Show
10.02.15 – Oakland, CA @ Ellis Mile High Club
10.03.15 – Eugene, OR @ Black Forest
10.04.15 – Portland, OR @ Rontoms