Some kids dream of being astronauts, others firefighters or doctors; Jonas Friddle wanted to write songs. His parents raised him on a veritable master class of lyricists, from John Prine and Paul Simon to Leonard Cohen, and early on, he knew his life would be spent trying to emulate these greats.
He chased this dream around the country, studying songs of the American Old–Time and Bluegrass traditions at Berea college in Kentucky, then making for Chicago, where he took up with the Old Town School of Folk Music. In 2012, after releasing two albums in one year, SyncoPony and Belle de Louisville, he won the Song of the Year award in the John Lennon Songwriting competition for “Belle de Louisville” and earned himself a spot in the Rocky Mountain Folks Fest Songwriter Showcase.
Despite his successes, Friddle decided that in order to continue to grow as a musician and a songwriter, he needed a bigger sound, so the Majority was born, a fiercely talented group of musicians made up of Geoff Dolce on electric guitar, Andrew Green on drums, Anna Jacobson on trumpet, French horn and fiddle, Andrew Wilkins on bass, Maria McCullough on fiddle, Bailey Doyle on cello and Evan Jacobson on trombone and keys.
Today, Elmore is streaming the self-titled album from Jonas Friddle and the Majority, a follow up to the group’s 2013 debut, Use Your Voice, which garnered the band a nomination for Album of the Year at the Independent Music Awards. The album is a joyous, ambitious journey rooted in Friddle’s voice, which has a rich, unique tremble. A blasting, exuberant horn section opens the album with “The Difference,” and from there the record snakes through Friddle’s myriad music influences throughout his career, from the gothic, roots inspired “Live In This World” to a full-bodied, orchestral version of “Belle De Louisville.” Each track has a depth all it’s own; this is an album you could spend hours with, in constant discovery.
Listen to Jonas Friddle and the Majority below, grab yourself a copy when it comes out on April 22nd, and, if you’re in the Windy City, check out the band on May 22nd at Lincoln Hall in Chicago, IL.