Hiroshima-born, Montreal-based singer-songwriter Jonah Yano announces his forthcoming second album portrait of a dog on January 27th, 2023. Following a highly acclaimed 2020 which included the release of the debut LP souvenir, and collaborations with BADBADNOTGOOD, Yano quietly released a cover of Jessica Pratt’s "This Time Around" and took some time away from releasing music to write and record his forthcoming album. Yano was recently announced as the opening act for the critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Clairo for the last leg of her North American and the entirety of her European tour dates.
Along with the announcement, Yano is also sharing the first offering from the new album in the form of a double single. The first, "always," features simple songwriting, a solid groove, and an excellent piano solo, and "the speed of sound!," a personal favorite of Yano’s, is at the confluence of his love of folk and jazz music. The visual for "always" is a study of the wide-ranging tides in Five Islands, Nova Scotia, where Yano wanders The Bay of Fundy to reveal a sprawling bed of red clay at low tide. Speaking on the song and video, Yano says:
“'always' is a song that appeals to one-half of my sensibilities in music. All the piano on the record was played by my friend Felix Fox. I wrote this song for my younger brother Azusa who, at the time and just like myself, was going through some matters of the heart. Directed by Nik Arthur & David May, the video is essentially 6.5 hours of me walking in super slow motion so it looks like I’m walking regular speed while the environment changes around me.”
portrait of a dog is a 12-track exploration of themes present throughout most of Yano’s catalog – identity as a part of the Japanese-Canadian diaspora, contemplation of different family dynamics, and the intricacies of interpersonal relationships. It’s a clear departure from Yano’s previous recordings – having established a clear sonic identity throughout the album’s 12 tracks to tell a clear and succinct collection of stories guided by clear and intentional instrumentals. The LP is produced entirely in collaboration with BADBADNOTGOOD and features guest work from Slauson Malone, Sea Oleena, with string arrangements by Eliza Niemi, Leland Whitty, and Yano himself.