Photo courtesy artist

The graduality of Jon Vinyl is something of a spectacle amidst an era defined by over-consumption; rampant late-modernity, unforgiving of the organic nature of art and the authentic foundations it must derive from.

There is a pressure hovering over the contemporary musician; we, the audience they wish to inspire, has been gradually conditioned, by no fault of the individual, to almost never be satisfied. "False needs," as Marcuse would define them. To be an artist in the 21st century is to be expected to become a cog in a machine. To be an artist—in the eye of western social construction—is to perpetuate the conveyor belt of content, to provide commodity.

Vinyl, this very special Toronto native, has much to be applauded for in this context, equipped with a mature consciousness of the way his art may be consumed, the energy that surrounds it, and most importantly his connection with the emotions he wishes to portray. We must champion such delicate reflection on the essence of musicality, pioneers of a future for R&B that is true to its origins should be celebrated. 

Artists across the globe find themselves at odds with an industry seeking to hijack their creativity and feelings in the name of profit. Such proceedings, untrue to the meaning of what it is to create, highlight musicians like Vinyl, as pioneers of a promising future in which the creator retakes full control of their expression. 

Since 2017, Vinyl has released a handful of expressive singles, building toward something larger. One can only admire his willingness to be vulnerable with us; sharing of reflections and aligning emotional expression with his growth, this is all we can ask of someone. However, to present this at a pace so innately human, real and authentic to what a being of thought and emotion is, is something we can all aspire to achieve in a world that never slows down. Jon Vinyl inspires us here at Variance, reminding us that creativity is sacred and although we must share this authentically...there is no rush for what is destined to be wonderful.

The powerful nature of Vinyl’s progression, smooth and unhurried, presents an organic trajectory which enables fans to grow alongside him, and all will now be grateful to witness the larger fruit the vinyl tree begins to bear. Recent EP Palisade not only enriches the soils of Ontario’s soulful future, but sees the coming-of-age journey of this young and exciting artist reach its next turning point.

We feel that in the spirit of this wonderfully reflective young pioneer, we must not succumb to the modern tendency of reducing art to something that is to be consumed; thus, our review is to ask you to listen—not to consume—listen with the same mindfulness that you find yourself within as you create something beautiful of your own expression. We ask you to take time as you hear each and every individual guitar strum, as you notice every accentuation of lyric. In the words of Jon Vinyl himself, “this EP was made for people who feel,” and we are certain that is something you will find yourself lost in as you listen; beautiful… in the moment…organic, feelings.