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Johnny West


Country of origin:

Canada

Type of music generally:

Experimental

Status:

Most recent release, Gift for a Spider (2011)

See also:

Johnny West's site

Comparisons:

Jeff Buckley, Pavement, Queen

Covers/own material:

Own

General comments:

West is a talented and odd artist, capable of both poignancy and whimsy. His voice is angelic and can be rough when it needs to. (starnell@yahoo.com)

Recommended first album:

Of those we've heard, we recommended you start with Brand New Shiny Lie

Recordings:


Pavement Hugging Daddies EP

Release info:

2004—Tosteestostas Music—TCD01018

Availability:

See Johnny West's site

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Johnny West

Comments:

Johnny West has a nice voice and uses it well on this ep, the music's both complex and intimate. It's not a difficult listen, even if he has an experimental approach to songwriting. (starnell@yahoo.com)

Brand New Shiny Lie

Release info:

2004—Tosteestostas Music—TCD0101

Availability:

See Johnny West's site

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Johnny West

Comments:

West's Brand new shiny lie seems more whimsical and more boisterous than his previous record. This reminds me of a slacker band like Pavement in a collision with Queen's complex music. (starnell@yahoo.com)

Growing Sideways

Release info:

2004—Tosteestostas Music—TCD01020

Availability:

See Johnny West's site

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Johnny West

Comments:

This record is softer than the others and West gets into a nice groove. The songs are more reliant on atmospherics than vocals and West has fun with the titles calling songs "Touch me to death" and "Oven Head". The music's almost ambient here. (starnell@yahoo.com);

Who You Are Now Is Not What You Were Before

Release info:

2005—Tosteestostas Music—TCD01021

Availability:

See Johnny West's site

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Johnny West

Comments:

This follows the experimental, synth-heavy path of Growing Sideways and refines it. West's in fine voice as ever and this is a lovely album. (starnell@yahoo.com)

Nostalgia-Triggering Mechanism EP

Release info:

2005—Tosteestostas Music—TCD01022

Availability:

See Johnny West's site

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Johnny West

Comments:

West continues his odd path with a nicely experimental, but still coherent song collection. His vocals are spot on as ever. As always, he's his own man though traces of other artists' work may be detected, filtered through the prism of West's fertile imagination. (starnell@yahoo.com)

The Bitter Side of Sweet

Release info:

2006—Tosteestostas Music

Availability:

See Johnny West's site

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Johnny West

Comments:

West makes piano-centric music here and usually with strong results. The tracks are quietly expressive though not a word is sung. He really has a good way with the piano. The songs can be both jaunty and melancholy. (starnell@yahoo.com)

Pavement Hugging Daddies EP

Release info:

2008—Tosteestostas Music

Availability:

See Johnny West's site

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Johnny West

Comments:

This album is more varied than its predecessors and uses intriguingly odd titles like "Blue Cheese Necklace" and "A question about the question mark". West still has a beautiful voice and uses it well. He remains an original and compelling artist. (starnell@yahoo.com)

An Absence of sway

Release info:

2009—Tosteestostas Music—TCD01026

Availability:

See Johnny West's site

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Johnny West

Guest artists:

Anna Atkinson—viola

Comments:

Another Johnny West record, with more angular and unusual songs, with titles to be impressed by. These include the neat "The sun is a red ball of lies tonight" and the bizarre "Centipede Marriage Proposal". It's something most songwriters can't do, and that includes performing nearly all instruments by themselves and singing in an engaging voice. A very nice album in its own sweet way. (starnell@yahoo.com)

If I had a quarter for every time someone stuck a gun in my face, I'd at least have enough change for a few chocolate bars

Release info:

2009—Tosteestostas Music—TCD01027

Availability:

See Johnny West's site

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Johnny West

Guest artists:

Anna Atkinson—viola

Comments:

West continues his individual path, with an album of exquisitely skewed concerns which this time include "Once more, without feeling", "Where there's smoke, there's a smoker" and "Guilt, nausea and other things that look good in bed together". West's vocals go from choirboy pure to funky sass without passing go first. It's worth checking out. (starnell@yahoo.com)

Creative Nightmares

Release info:

2009—Tosteestostas Music—TCD01028

Availability:

See Johnny West's site

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Johnny West

Comments:

Johnny West lets his creative nightmares loose, and the results are as ever, entertaining and clever with song titles to die for. I'm especially intrigued by "Zombies on parade" and "Weird sex dream 72" which appear to find his restless muse in fine spirit. But all these songs are worth a listen. (starnell@yahoo.com)

Love songs for Nihilists

Release info:

2010—Tosteestostas Music

Availability:

See Johnny West's site

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Johnny West

Comments:

A sad yet creative album by the ever-restless West. He's in fine vocal form and the songs are affectingly made. There's some hope at the end of the rainbow too. (starnell@yahoo.com)

My Hellhound crooked heart

Release info:

2010—Tosteestostas Music

Availability:

See Johnny West's site

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Johnny West

Comments:

An ambitious but cohesive double album with plenty of creative highs and emotional lows. The genius title "What Marc Anthony should have sung to J.Lo in their wedding day." hides a cute song sung in Spanish and English. "I'm a witness, not your waitress" is an instantly engaging song, with a great tune. It's one of those albums that needs time to grow, but engages close attention. (starnell@yahoo.com)

Medium Hi-fi Music for the mentally unstable

Release info:

2011—Tosteestostas Music

Availability:

See Johnny West's site

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Johnny West

Comments:

Another engaging record by West, this one is sprawling and features the song "Taylor Swift sings Death Metal in my dreams". It's one of many priceless titles hiding ambitious, songs with an ever-flexible voice. West is in a world of his own and his music is all the better for it. (starnell@yahoo.com)


Thanks to starnell@yahoo.com for work on this entry.

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Entry last updated 2014-05-25 21:22:24.
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