During times of division, many look to music to inspire togetherness and harmony. In the current global climate, Jon Scott has taken it upon himself to do just that.
‘Freedom – A New Jerusalem‘ is an EP not only filled with anthems for solidarity in the year that has been 2020, but also shines a light on the people and the cultures that have been harmed through divisive politics.
The lyrical observations made through the EP are raw, unfiltered and carry strong messages for anyone who listens; complemented with deep, soulful instrumentals that create swells of real emotion.
The EP’s title track sets the tone for the others and introduces the listener to the intense feel that will follow them throughout. ‘Freedom a New Jerusalem’ begins with lyrics referencing ‘the wall’ (Donald Trump’s purposed wall between the USA-Mexico border). The track morphs, however, when the mellow instrumental is overlapped with the iconic ‘I Have a Dream’ speech (Martin Luther King Jr. – 1963). This is no longer a singular response but rather a reply to the hostile environment experienced this year in the USA, which birthed the BLM protests that happened mid-2020.
The speech takes an impactful centre-stage, with Jon Scott continuing his vocals after, creating the idea that this song is a continuation of the wish for peace between people in a modern setting. The vocal performances are the star of the show with a fitting choir ensemble to close the track, echoing wishes of freedom for everyone.
‘Water Is Wet’ gives the listener a wonderful fusion of soul and afro-jazz, a bouncy instrumental underlined by a smooth brass accompaniment. Urging people to live life to the fullest has never sounded so good, as Jon Scott wishes people to live their lives and live well. The track shows some of the extents of Scott’s ability, as the message behind ‘Water is Wet‘ is presented in a more casual but still memorable way. A real unsung highlight.
‘A Beautiful Country’ carries on the upbeat instrumental train as Scott croons his way through exploration of emotions and the hope of a new world. Much like ‘Water is Wet’, the tone of the track is more casual, with some catchy riffs and fun motifs throughout. It’s a fascinating combination of lyrics about social change and an entertaining presentation.
Lastly, ‘Suzy Walker (2020)’ closes out the EP with another injection of soulfulness and a big nod to the influence of Stevie Wonder. It’s a great end that leaves listeners satisfied with building instrumentals and more of the catchiness experienced in the previous tracks. It is a definite highlight of the EP and another show of Scott’s ability to create entertaining content that has heart and meaning.
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Words by Ellen Oakley
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