Jonny Olley

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"Tunnel Vision" by Jonny Olley

Review

Out  today  is "Tunnel Vision", the  third single by Jonny Olley, following his debut  "Slow" (and which was featured on ‘Hot Music Live Presents Volume Five') and its follow up "Change".

Pitched somewhere between the two in terms of mood & sound, what is especially noticeable about "Tunnel Vision" is his increasing confidence in writing & this is his most ambitious structure & arrangement to date: it's illuminating that he himself feels that it's his best work so far.

It's also his most rock like composition with moody, ominous riffing added to his repertoire and consequently the fullest arrangement to date.

If the music is towards the rock end of the spectrum, then the lyrics mirror this riffage being a series of repeated mantras which in turn help reinforce the notion within the song's message: this is about a very focused desire, oblivious perhaps to things outside that narrowness of vision & consequently bordering on the obsessional. Which he evokes effectively by these means: ho only wants the object of his desire & beyond that, little else matters. A clear message & in its intensity, one he presumably hopes will not just make his point but help him achieve his end.

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"Change" by Jonny Olley

Review

If you enjoyed Jonny Olley's debut single "Slow" which we reviewed here in January (and which was featured on ‘Hot Music Live Presents Volume Five'), then you'll be pleased to learn of his new release, "Change".

Rather more relaxed in terms of sound ("Slow" was pretty edgy), that does not be any means imply that "Change" is middle of the road. The lyric & Jonny's delivery of it remain angsty if more under his control. He seems still to be observing the world around him & being bruised emotionally by what he sees: you can tell he cares: though judging by the lyric he also suffers too (it sounds like a break up inspired song).

Musically, the (predominantly acoustic) sound remains admirably sparse with no more instrumentation than he feels in necessary to tell his story with honesty rather than overkill. There is still a jazz tinged aspect to the playing, though the blues contribution lies more in the approach & general feel than in any formal structure. Overall, despite the downbeat nature of the words & the consequent music, "Change" is actually quite catchy and should draw you into it in a way that will help explore its darker recesses.

Jonny seems to wear his heart on his sleeve, which I personally find commendable & which fits the bill of material I'd wish to commend unto you via my writings. He also has that happy knack of communicating his feelings effectively which does not always go automatically with that.

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"Slow" by Jonny Olley

Review

I am very grateful to Toni Peach who frequently plugs the magazine on her HillzFM show, plays "Hot Music Live Presents" tracks and when circumstances allow, has HMLP artists as guests for introducing me to the work of Jonny Olley and specifically his latest single called "Slow". This Kenilworth originating singer-songwriter self describes as "alt-indie-blues": to my ears this particular track also possesses folk touches but above all it reminds me of Gil Scott-Heron too, as the relentless acoustic arrangement lies at the jazzier end of the blues spectrum & serves to provide a framework for an equally relentless & angsty social commentary.

Good as the edgy music is, it's the words which caught my attention the most: clearly writing from both a personal  perspective & genuine experiences/observations, these reflections pour out of him almost as if he can't contain them within himself any longer… an unusual & authentic structure, the lyrics would work effectively without music as a poem.

The overall effect thus is bracingly original & a breath of fresh air. An artist I'll be keeping an eye & ear open for.

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