Mellowdrone | Short Cuts | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

Music News

Mellowdrone

Jonathan Bates' claim that his major-label debut was "lovingly recorded in a bedroom" is slightly misleading: With his solo career in a fledgling state, Bates caught the attention of Tony Berg, an A&R executive who signed Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Beck. Soon after, the magic of studio-enhanced remastering transformed his casual, homemade EP/demo into something densely layered and commercially polished. Running the gamut from sorrow to agony in less than 30 minutes, Bates has written a half-dozen accessible, minor-chord-driven pop songs that lament everything from the mass media ("Fashionably Uninvited") to fractured singer-songwriter delirium ("Beautiful Day"). Consider it all a teasing hors d'oeuvre at an abbreviated feast. It tastes pretty good but leaves you unsatisfied and still hungry.

Bates can turn a corrosive sing-along into something that transcends mere melancholy ("No More Options"), then tear the Band-Aid from an open gash in one fell swoop. When he sings "I'd honestly slam my hand in a car door just to shut you up" ("And Repeat"), you can't help but smile and want to call his bluff.

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Matthew Africa

Latest Stories