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.
Presented by Aquarium Drunkard, Maston plays a live session with L'Eclair at Ritmo Studios in Leysin, Switzerland. This version showcases tracks from the Maston discography.
[00:00] 01. Rain Dance
[03:49] 02. Swans
[05:44] 03. Scenic
[08:00] 04. Souvenir
[09:49] 05. Les Monstres
[12:02] 06. Swiss Franc
And a link to the most recent record, Souvenir:
Maston performs "Ghost" from the album, Souvenir, live from Ritmo Studio in Leysin, Switzerland with support from members of L'eclair.
Recorded live at Ritmo Studio, Leysin, Switzerland
Engineer: Benoit Gerard
Electric Piano/Vocals: Frank Maston
Synthesizer: Sébastien Bui
Guitar: Stefan Lilov
Percussion: Alain Sandri Bass: Elie Ghersinu
Drums: Yavor Lilov Composed by Maston
Filmed by Club Soda
Directed and Edited by Valentin Schaer
Cameras by Patrick Chevalley & Valentin Schaer
As premiered on Shindig, Frank Maston releases the latest single from his upcoming record, Souvenir (due out September 10th, 2021). According to Maston:
“‘Swiss Franc’ is the last song on the album and the song we close the live show with. The light and dark elements give it a nice sense of balance – like a discotheque dirge. The video was made using some analogue video synthesisers, blended with a swiss franc coin which I modelled and animated. It’s one of my favourite tracks on the record and is very emblematic of my relationship and musical collaboration with L’Eclair, hence the title.”
More on Souvenir:
In 2018, composer/producer Frank Maston was living in Paris, working on new music when he was introduced to Geneva based band L’Eclair. Blown away by what he heard, there seemed to be a mutual understanding and appreciation for that loungey, groovy world of library and soundtrack music from the ’70s. An immediate thought occurred to him – what if he could record with this simpatico group backing him up? The result is the colourful and kinetic album Souvenir.