Jona Byron's beautiful debut album ‘Extinct Hearts' is a seminal piece of work. The tracks cover the last few years of Jona's musical and human journey. 'Hearts' oozes longevity and a deep emotional core, while also acting as a musical journal.
The single ‘Beautiful Bird' conjures delicate moments of the late Elliot Smith and paints a story of mental illness and a lovers fading hope while resting on well-crafted melodies and stunning vocals. The angsty title opener ‘Extinct Hearts' rides on a hypnotic pulse of bass, organ and dense guitars, and acts as a warning, as Byron reflects on a world gone mad. ‘Glass Jaws' opens with subtle acoustics and banjo yet blooms into a powerful acoustic tour de force, with it's catchy melody, strong bass (played by Edmondo Ammendola of Augie March) and evocative imagery. The devastating ‘Arm Yourself' rolls like a medieval Leonard Cohen song complete with haunting cello work by Francesca Mountfort, while the cover of the classic Bob Dylan song ‘The Times They Are A Changing' is a beautiful departure from the original and works more as a contemporary apocalyptic anti-war song.
The album was produced by Jona himself in various houses, studios and locations across Melbourne, with producer Myles Mumford (Lamplight, Kate Vigo) stepping in for some minimal production at Atlantis Sound. 'Extinct Hearts' is a giant leap for an artist who has been behind the curtain for much too long.
- Popboomerang Records, 2009.
Extinct Hearts was released Nov 17, 2009 through Popboomerang Records / MGM Distribution.
The digital bonus edition includes rare and bonus tracks such as 'Visions', 'In Our Eyes of Tiny Lives', and 'The Harder Ships of The World'.
released 17 November 2009
Jona Byron: vocals, guitars, banjo, piano, organ, bass, keys, contrabass, percussion
Francesca Mountfort: cellos on ‘Beautiful Bird’ and ‘Arm Yourself’
Edmondo Ammendola: bass on ‘Extinct Hearts’ and ‘Glass Jaws’
Tiana Morrison: backing vocals on ‘Arm Yourself’
Kat Winduss: backing vocals on ‘Extinct Hearts’
John Paul Hougaz: melodica on ‘Duck Shooting
Peter Uhlenbruch: flutes on ‘Beautiful Bird’
Dale G Thomas: drums and percussion
Recorded and mixed by Jona Byron in a variety of locations
Additional production by Myles Mumford at Atlantis Sound
and additional drum tracks recorded by Stuart Seear at JMC Audio
Mastered by Adam Dempsey at ‘Jack The Bear’s’ Deluxe Mastering
Design by Andrea Herrmann: www.skewnet.com
All songs written by Jona Byron except
‘The Times They Are A Changin’ by Bob Dylan
'The Harder Ships of The World' by Keren Ann
Samples taken from www.freesound.org
New 'Bonus Edition' created on 26/11/10.
Produced by Jona Byron