Jer Coons has not yet had much exposure on the national stage, but he's about to get a lot more. Coons' debut album Speak releases on September 29, 2009. This weekend he has a release show at Higher Ground in his hometown of Burlington, Vermont, and I suspect we're going to be hearing a lot of this talented young man.
There's something about Coons' lyrics and style that make me think in some ways of Jason Mraz, but he's also got his own style there too. These songs come from his experiences - the highs and lows, the lessons learned, perceptions of a guy simply trying to find his way. As Jer says - "I’ve been waiting my whole life to make this album." And it shows. These are personal songs that speak to listeners.
The combination of stories, harmonies, and a variety of musical stylings combines to provide a sound that pushes this album above the noise of most debut releases. Style-wise, the tracks are mostly pop-rock, with a bit of country thrown in for good measure.
Most tracks combine acoustic guitars, drums, and Jer's vocals to good effect. Occasionally, as with "Ship Sank," they mix it up a bit and add some really soulful grooves that I found difficult to stop from echoing in my brain, long after the song had stopped.
The title track, "Speak", has a groovy guitar track that winds all the way through the story of a breakup. The guy in the song has an epiphany that "I'm gonna find a place that I belong to. / When I do I'll find a face worth holding onto..." He'll move on and hopefully gain a bit more independence from the experience.
The second track, "Legs" mixes in some of that Jason Mraz influence while talking about the aftermath of a failed relationship. Publicly, he wants her to be happy, but privately he hopes that she'll think of him every time she goes to kiss the new guy.
Here's a video, filmed entirely in Vermont locations, for the song "Legs":
Jer Coons' album Speak hits retailers on September 29, 2009, so be sure to check it out and ask for it on the radio. Let a bit of Coons' Vermont groove into your life! Check out Coons' website for details on his upcoming tour as well.