Foundations: Jonathan Wilson

A psychedelic excursion...
Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan Wilson is perhaps most commonly regarded as an exponent for a modern update on the Laurel Canyon sound.

As a singer-songwriter from the West Coast, this can hardly be avoided. Yet on new album 'Fanfare' the American artist seems to meet this head on - from the toffee smooth production to guest spots from Graham Nash (amongst others) it feels like a conscious salute to a certain time, a certain style.

Yet really, Jonathan Wilson is fuelled by much more than this. A fantastically broad artist, Clash asked the songwriter to pick five albums which make up his Foundations - recurring points of reference, landmarks by which his own creative expansions can be traced.

It's a psychedelic excursion...

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Gábor Szabó - Bacchanal

This is what a teenage Jim Keltner, one of the world's most legendary drummers sounds like with a Turkish Jazz Mystic.. Gábor Szabó was Kelt's fist gig, and his phrasing and melodic content was a fave of Jerry Garcia and Dr John, among many others, a true original…. and also in possession of the most sublime guitar tone of all time...

Bill Fay - Tomorrow, Tomorrow, Tomorrow

A rare gem from one of England's finest.. Bill Fay never ceases to amaze me, every time I listen to him I am reminded of just how far ahead of his time the man was… This is from the record 'Tomorrow, Tomorrow And Tomorrow', which was a genuine masterpiece, and sadly unreleased until fairly recently. Bill's songwriting is some of my favorite on planet Earth….

NRBQ - Scraps

Perhaps one of the tightest bands of the past half century, NRBQ is a band that I discovered largely through my Friend Andy Cabic of Vetiver, who is an absolute NRBQ freak. I admit I did not really understand just how impactful and monumental this band was until Andy inspired me to listen deeper with his fervor concerning their music… the Piano breaks alone in this song are worth triple the admission price….

Pond - Psychedelic Mango Vision

One of the funkiest bands currently existing, these guys are from Perth, Australia and a few of them are in Tame Impala. Their first record is called 'Psychedelic Mango Vision' and it's a true psych affair - sort of early Kinks mixed with Ram Daas at his highest. Any Pond record is highly recommended!

Milton Nascimento - Fairy Tale Song
Milton has been one of my favorites for quite some time, the king of Brazillan Psych, and a huge inspiration. His melodies are some of the most memorable and beautiful in the world, the production of his record floors me every time I put it on, which is at least once a week. EMI Brasil is the reason why, in the early 70's EMI set up essentially an 'Abbey Road South', and everything recorded in this studio sounds heavenly.

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'Fanfare' is out now via Bella Union.

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