Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Evening Hymns (SCQ's Year-End Questionnaire Part III)

From the second I heard ‘Lanterns’, the first song from his arresting new album Spirit Guides, I knew Evening Hymns had just given 2009 a tremendous shot in the arm. I had the good fortune to catch the man behind the moniker, Jonas Bonnetta, the evening before his record officially dropped, and he dives into these questions with the honesty his album is dripping with. (Photo by Peter Chatterton)

SCQ: What have been some of your favourite records of 2009? Gush away.

Cass McCombs-Catacombs, Dirty Projectors-Bitte Orca, Mountains-Choral, R. Kelly-12 Play:4th Quarter (although not officially released), Sam Amidon-All is Well, Phosphorescent-To Willie, Timber Timbre-S/T

SCQ: Be it from the radio, lost on Myspace or from your roster, what song(s) could you not stop spinning?

'Something Hiding For Us In The Night' and '(Bit) Part' by The Wooden Sky. Before this record came out I'd go to their Myspace and listen over and over... so much Tom Petty in those songs it's great. The whole record is really beautiful but those two songs had me hooked. I'm really overplaying Washed Out's "Feel It All Around" right now. I just got back from being on the road out west and it felt really nice to play that song near the beach.

SCQ: Seldom celebrated but crucial to The Album’s identity is cover-art. Can you offer any shortlist of personal favourites from the past year?

Bill Callahan-Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle, Mt. Eerie-Wind's Poem (always a contender for best album artwork), Bonnie Prince Billy-Beware.

I guess Mt. Eerie takes it for me. That dude always blows everyone out of the water when it comes to artwork. It starts with the cover and then as you open it up it gets more and more epic. His release "No Flashlight" is probably my favorite packaging of all time.

SCQ: When you look back on what transpired this year, what will stand out as your most memorable musical moment(s) of 2009?

Getting signed to Out Of This Spark was pretty memorable. I'm really excited to be working with them. The label is really focused on the artist and allows me to be pretty flexible in how I want to work. I got to open for some great bands that I'm a fan of too. That was a thrill. The biggest deal was probably finishing the record. It started out pretty small and ended up turning into this larger affair that we tried to wrangle. That was a real accomplishment that I'm really happy with.

SCQ: Most of us probably haven’t thought as far as New Years Eve plans but still, looking forward, what do you have on the horizon for 2010?

I just want to tour a lot. I'd like to take Evening Hymns more into the U.S. and would like to go to Europe. I'm slowly forming a band to play these songs with me and i'm excited to travel and play some new towns.

I'm also really excited to start recording another record right now. I know that as I type this my record comes out in like 5 minutes but I'm really looking forward to taking all the things I learned with Spirit Guides and putting it towards something new. I've started demoing things now and hope to start another record at some point early in 2010. I'd like to do a vinyl only release. Maybe some 7" releases or something. Who knows..


You Are My Symphonic said...

Fantastic Album! Evening Hymn's website says he had a live show in Soundscapes...Is that where you saw him?!

SCQ said...

Yup, he played a few tracks from 'Spirit Guides'... really great, low-key set. Jonas even reworked 'Mountain Song' by himself, combining a series of keyboard presets into this percussive near-dancey onslaught.

If he tours Montreal, don't miss it!