Meilyr Jones – 2013
I get the feeling that Meilyr Jones doesn’t care what anyone thinks. Like most people, he’s had his fair share of heartache, but he’s gone away, created exactly what he felt inclined to and has come back brighter. With an entire album in tow. That’s no mean feat when you’re dealing with the sorrow surrounding both a band and a relationship breakup.
“2013” is Meilyr’s debut album (out now on Moshi Moshi Records) and has been released following a string of notable support slots and a few festival dates, for which he has received much positivity from punters and pundits alike. Incidentally, I saw him when he supported Richard Hawley in Cambridge – I had never heard of him before that night, and was absolutely mesmerised by his musical versatility and struck by his genial manner and his humour. I went away knowing I would be procuring his music.
I could make all sorts of comparisons about Meilyr to a variety of musicians past and present, but the truth is that this gentleman is altogether unique. He has produced an album which could easily be transferred to theatre or film as the soundtrack to a story of love, heartbreak and the return to a healed mind and heart. The album in its entirety has a dramatic structure and a storyboard in which I became immersed from the very first note.
I’m struggling to write about this music without showing my emotions. I can identify with so much of what Jones sings about, to the extent that I was reduced to tears whilst listening to “Love” and “Featured Artist”. I don’t know whether it was his words, or his heartfelt manner, or the fact he is entrusting us to listen to his innermost thoughts with no fear and without a murmur of wanting anything in return but whatever it is, this music has evoked sentimentality in my ice cold heart.
Jones’ music is indefinable. He enlisted an orchestra and recorded live with them, bringing in extra breadth by including a harpsichord and a recorder in the mix.
He also experiments on “Rain in Rome” – stunning vocals that conjure an image of being on a Hawaiian beach are rapidly overcome by the sounds of a thunderstorm, which is met with rapturous cheers and applause by a crowd we didn’t even know was there. This could have been considered a bit twee and unnecessary, but I think it provides an insight into just a few moments of Meilyr’s time in Rome. Without wanting to read between the lines too much, maybe he’s telling us about something beautiful which can quickly meet with disaster, but that we can see beauty and amusement within the things that don’t go our way. Maybe it’s ok for me to believe that, even if I am over-thinking things. After all, perception of art is a very personal thing.
I’ve been waiting for someone to come along who isn’t afraid of doing something a little bit different to express themselves. A new perspective is inspirational in itself, and if we can all learn something from the way Jones dealt with his difficulties, then perhaps it can be as simple as the words he beings with in the uncommonly eloquent “Refugees”:
“Get up, switch off, switch off your television.”