A little messy, but the genius of Powell is making more sense with more context. I do miss the bees though.
My ‘Frankie’-based prediction was correct: Powell’s music makes so much more sense in the context of other releases. ‘Jonny’ is almost tribal percussively, with everything centred around a looped riff that keeps threatening (and, thankfully, never quite managing) to spill into a full solo. Again, Powell’s hard and distorted synth sounds pair with Jonnine Standish’s vocals for bored drone that, after too much waiting and songs that have been long instrumentals with a smattering of vocals, is like a REAL SONG with an intro, verse, chorus, and verse – no more angry bees are to be found.
That said, the juxtaposition of some 90s-sounding guitar with Powell’s standard sound doesn’t mesh together too well. For the final two minutes, all we have is the same messy cycle of riff, angry scratching, and Standish singing “eva eva eva eva eva.” Earlier, it seems that Powell just wants to rhyme with little regard for sense, like a toddler with a rhyming dictionary (“Rules and rhymes, notes and wires, fault lines / Freq sines, number nines”).
Or maybe I just still don’t understand this madness.
‘Jonny’ is out now via XL