Chicago’s File 13 Records has announced ‘Zebulon’, the compelling yet irresistibly catchy new single from solo artist Jon Lindsay. This track features a ridiculously funky horn arrangement from Matt Douglas of The Mountain Goats and drums by John Howie Junior.
‘Zebulon’ also happens to artfully tackle systemic bigotry—from the bigot’s point of view, no less. A sonic departure from Lindsay’s 2016 modern pop/rock opus ‘Cities and Schools’ (via File 13 Records), Lindsay describes the “Zebulon” sound as “sort of this psychedelic gospel pop”. While the vibe is indeed reminiscent of late-era George Harrison and Warren Zevon, and the horns, keys, congas and infectious hooks are in step with pop masters of the 1980s like Steve Winwood, something entirely new is happening here.
“I didn’t want to just skewer a guy like this with some preachy, easy tune,” explains Jon Lindsay, “I wanted to put a more three-dimensional character sketch together that got at the undercurrents of why this person felt like his whole world was getting away from him. Maybe it would help me understand how these things happen? I just tried to imagine how somebody could turn out so hateful and seemingly not realize it even a little bit.”
Paste Magazine probably nailed it best, referring to “Lindsay’s trademark, almost paradoxical combination of energy and melancholy” while praising ‘Cities and Schools’ as “one of the gems of 2016”. Sync licensing also found this music featured in TV shows like “Haven” and “Jane by Design” and national broadcast campaigns for Jeep, Sheetz and other brands. In 2013, he cofounded (with Caitlin Cary of Whiskeytown) the NC Music Love Army—a large collective of progressive artists creating ‘protest music’. Apart from writing these songs, he served as producer and music director. The Love Army’s roster included Chris Stamey, Hiss Golden Messenger, American Aquarium, Chatham County Line, The Love Language, as well as members of the Black Crowes, The Mountain Goats, and Carolina Chocolate Drops. In all, they put out 13 politically-charged original releases on their own label. In 2017, the Love Army’s song ‘We Rise’ was licensed for the film ‘The Rape of Recy Taylor’, for which Martin Scorsese was the executive producer.