Singer/Songwriter Jon Gonzalez releases new Single
“Staring up at the ceiling, ‘cause I won’t be sleeping tonight” croons Jon Gonzalez in a smoky, angst-ridden vocal as his new single “Holding On” begins to play, his voice echoing the same melancholic melody that the piano is pushing out of our speakers at full volume. There’s an emotionality to this opening lyric that will only grow stronger as we press on in the song, and as we’ll soon learn, Jon Gonzalez is putting as much heart in his verses as he is the substance of the music in the stunning pop balladry of “Holding On.”
This master mix is pretty clean, but not overly meticulous at all; on the contrary, I get the impression that Gonzalez wasn’t too concerned about leaving a rough edge in the big picture as long as it served to afford him as much of a presence as possible. By keeping things slightly unvarnished with regards to the relationship between the vocal and the piano, it highlights how seamlessly the other components in the track are (not to mention the level of passion that our leading man is displaying here). He’s got a lot to say to us, and he isn’t content to use but one means of communication in this single.
The piano parts are admittedly a little louder than they need to be in a couple of spots here, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say that they drown out Gonzalez’s sterling lead vocal when it matters the most. In the grander scheme of things, he would probably do better with a more conservative playing style in the future, but truth be told, I haven’t heard enough of his work to determine what he could potentially develop with a grandiose aesthetic. It’s not a perfect fit in this instance, but it isn’t something I would rule out experimenting with in upcoming projects – provided the circumstances were on the up and up, of course.
I would have liked less bass on the vocal EQ, but I suppose I can understand what Gonzalez was going for in keeping a heavy bottom-end on his verse. For one, it does help to compensate for the sonic disparity between his voice and the piano, but to some degree, it makes the lyrics a little less surreal in nature as a result. He’s trading one element off for another, and though I might have done things differently had I been in the studio, there’s nothing creatively flawed about his concept here at all.
While I’m just now familiarizing myself with the music of Jon Gonzalez, who is based outside of Seattle in the peninsula town of Bremerton, Washington, I’ve got a feeling that he’s going to create some really interesting material as he continues to refine his sound. “Holding On” is definitely one of the more intriguing indie ballads I’ve heard in the last month, and although it might not be the most elaborate (nor the most efficient) piece of alternative media out at the moment, it’s certainly a track that I would recommend you check out just the same.