Genre Wander: Freedom Fry - Jonny Avery - The Jade Assembly

Freedom Fry - The Words.

Background words - We were messing around in the studio and came up with this hybrid, disco-folk song. It’s written from the perspective of a boyfriend or girlfriend who just needs to hear that they’re still wanted. We really liked that the lyric “Just say the words” kind of also sounds like “Je sais the words.” “Je sais” means “I know” in French. - Bruce & Marie

In February 2015, Freedom Fry started the year at #1 on The Hype Machine with their first in a series of new singles, “Shaky Ground (Hey Na Na Na).” Just a few weeks later, Spotify included them in their rankings of “100 Emerging Artists From SXSW,” where they met Belgian sensation Stromae and were asked to support his west coast tour. Freedom Fry ended the tour with the beginning of a weekly May residency in Los Angeles, then took off to well-received shows in London & Paris, and came back to tour the east coast with Communion Presents.

The French/American duo, whose stage name is a satire on US & French relations during the Iraq war, have been self-producing and releasing music since 2011 when they first met on the set of a music video. Their home base, Los Angeles, and all the warmth and sunshine of California tends to heavily bleed into their sound – which skirts the lines between pop, folk and indie-rock – always blended with danceable rhythms and a sing-a-long chorus.

I just liked the idea of a hybrid disco-folk song as soon as I read the promo for this. I was not disappointed either. There's a fresh, breezy feel all the way through. Today's big question therefore has to be, is disco-folk the way forward? 


Jonny Avery - Captains Of Industry.

Background promo - Jonny Avery is a singer/songwriter from New Zealand who mixes soulful melodies with delicate guitar work. After moving to Wellington to complete his Masters in Music at the New Zealand School of Music, Jonny released his debut solo EP ‘Atonement for Eden’. He has had a busy year, performing regularly around New Zealand. Recently he opened for Australian heavyweights Pendulum on their ‘Rhythm And Vines’ tour. Jonny’s influences include Paul Simon, Jeff Buckley and James Taylor.

“Captains of Industry” is co written by Jonny and his dad. The first half of the lyrics were penned by Jonny’s dad before he passed away in 2000. Several years later, and unaware that the song even existed, Jonny found the lyrics in his dad’s old briefcase in the basement in his childhood home while on holiday. Jonny decided to pay homage to his dad by composing a melody and bridge so that the song could be completed. Soon after, he got his band together to record the song at a local school in Wellington. It was mastered at Park Road Productions in Wellington, the same studio that worked on the post-production of The Lord of The Rings movies.

“‘Captains of Industry’ is about corporate greed and the unacceptable treatment of natural resources in exchange for profit. It’s a difficult topic to sing about so I decided drape the song in irony by adding joyful beats and instrumentation. It’s best to interpret the lyrics as an accusation of unethical behaviour towards global corporations, rather then a song that actually praises them— I only mention this because people have come up to me after gigs asking me why I support such crazy ideas.” - Jonny Avery.

'Captains Of Industry' is pleasing both musically, with some intricate and understated musicianship, along with intelligent lyrics, that ironically have been misinterpreted by some, as Jonny states above.


The Jade Assembly - Nothing Changes.

Background promo - Manchester has always synonymous with music. So many bands, so much attitude, so much history. Some bands concern themselves with style, neglecting substance. Some bands, like The Jade Assembly, claim to have both.

From the passion of Watson and Danny's rhythm section, to the raw power of Smed's guitar work, each song is constructed to accompany northern poet John Foster's lyrics perfectly. In Foz the band have a front man who possesses an imposing sense of belief, not devoid of arrogance - but full of commitment.

Live Dates:
Feb 7th - Soundcontrol Manchester / Sound Control to Major Tom: For David Bowie
Feb 10th - Trafford Radio: Interview and Live Performance
Feb 13th - Manchester Academy 3 with Sixty Minute Man, Liam McClair, Dirty Saint & The Brakes
Feb 26th - BeerPrest / Prestwich Beer Festival with headline act Badly Drawn Boy
March 5th - Sebright Arms, London
March 17th - Studio 2, Parr Street, Liverpool
March 25th - Engine Rooms, Skelmersdale
March 27th - B Fest, Bolton
April 1st - Late Lounge, Rhyl
April 8th - Old Courts, Wigan.

'Nothing Changes' is one really good song. Forget about all the Manchester 'swagger and attitude' hype, this is a band who have real musical substance. Looking forward to hearing more from The Jade Assembly.