- Bryon Harris
John Thompson - 'Rise and Shine'
Hailing from California, John Thompson is a 27-year old singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who has released a self-titled debut EP. John plays guitars, bass and keyboards along with Dennis Galways on drums and Maya Hall on backup vocals. Off his new EP, the single "Rise and Shine" is a great way to introduce yourself to John Thompson's talent.
"Rise and Shine" opens with a hollow drum on a dotted quarter moving to a half note that sets a precise, forward-moving pulse. The drum seems to be calling out almost like the start of a chant, but soon rhythm guitars join in for a thick wall of sound that has a slightly psychedelic-rock vibe. The sound is raw and thick, a bit grungy and swirly, creating a classic /alternative/psychedelic rock cocktail that you can get drunk in. In it’s own way, this is musical word painting as John has composed a soundscape that perfectly paints the story of a song about an experience taking LSD. John's voice nicely balances out the mix with vocals in a radio-ready tenor range and a pristine tone. His timbre is smooth and emotive, but never over-stated. He opts for a subtle vibe which creates a genuine palette. Tasteful, melodic guitar solos cry out over the mix. The basic melody of the song is memorable and easy to grab onto.
"Rise and Shine" is reflective and honest. It is clear that John sings and writes from a place of self-awareness; he’s not afraid to undress his feelings and experiences in a song and he is not trying to impress. His lyrics are down-to-earth. "Rise and Shine" opens up with a trip – “took some LSD Down in Mississippi.” The trip is emotional and dips from sunlight into darkness and back. The story unfolds taking the listener into one moment in time, an experience, where darkness has crept in and a true friend is there in a meaningful way to give him the strength to rise and shine through non-judgmental kindness.
John’s gift as a song-writer is to capture moments that are real and paint the story, through song, as if you are re-experiencing it with him on an emotional level. “Rise and Shine” took me directly to Mississippi. I felt the LSD in the psychedelic sound; I felt the sunlight and the darkness in the emotional melodies and vocal performance; I felt the honest talk with a friend in John's genuine reflection; and I felt the deep appreciation for being accepting with all of one’s flaws. "Hope that you can see what your friendship means to me, despite flaws of mine your always unfailingly kind." "Rise and Shine" washes over you with refreshing honesty and substance.
For more information on John Thompson, Visit him on Facebook.