May 16, 2015

J Fernandez - Many Levels of Laughter

Recording from the studio in his apartment located above a stained glass window workshop, Fernandez incorporates guitar, organ, keyboard and various instrumental loops to create a dreamy record with a futuristic sound.





J Fernandez is a Chicago-based musician whose debut LP, Many Levels of Laughter follows up the previous EPs No Luck, Olympic Village and Memorize Now. Recording from the studio in his apartment located above a stained glass window workshop, Fernandez incorporates guitar, organ, keyboard and various instrumental loops to create a dreamy record with a futuristic sound.

Lyrically, Many Levels sounds like a trip through J Fernandez’s brain, picking at his inner thoughts and dreams. This album begins with the track "Between the Channels", the channels being the channels of a radio, as the song includes samples of what sounds like radio broadcasts. The lyrics in this song, along with the lead single "Read My Mind", refer to some sort of miscommunication, or the lack of desire to communicate (“Communication doesn’t matter”). This seems somewhat fitting as some of the music may remind you of the outdated technology and instrumentation of the past. However, it all sounds more futuristic than old, giving everything a very “spacey” feel, making sense of the fact that Fernandez lists Carl Sagan as one of the influences for this album.

These songs won’t get as spacey as the the songs from Cosmos, but add soft melodies from a saxophone, which is a welcome addition to any of the songs on this album. Songs like the instrumental "Filled with Joy" and "Holy Hesitation" are greatly assisted by the addition of the saxophone melodies that accompany Fernandez’ instrumentals and voice. It’s to the point where you might miss hearing the sax on tracks like "Melting Down", the six-minute closer. Other notable instrumentals include "Markers", an instrumental track that includes loops of unidentified outside noise, and "Apophis", that contains a synthesizer melody played backwards.

Many Levels of Laughter is an impressive debut for J Fernandez. This album continues a similar sound from his previous EPs yet adds some extra instrumentation that will please fans of those EPs and psychedelic pop fans alike.

Tracklist:
1. Between The Channels
2. Markers
3. Read My Mind
4. Casual Encounter
5. Filled With Joy
6. Holy Hesitation
7. Souvenirs
8. Apophis
9. Melting Down

Favorite Tracks: Between the Channels, Holy Hesitation

Many Levels Of Laughter will be released on June 9 via Joyful Noise Recordings.

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