The best writers often have little choice in songwriting. It’s not really something they do on a Sunday afternoon because they have got a spare 5 minutes. In fact, writing is instinctive, a moment of inspiration, and a form of medication to soothe inner hurt. Jon Paz Gale strikes me as a songwriter who’s reliant on his creativity to release some pain.
‘About Death’ is a candid piece of art. Personal, it’s like looking into a diary at his darkest musings. The sparse mix is the perfect backdrop for such sincere lyrics.
‘About Death’ begins with a lonely acoustic guitar. The guitar tone has resemblances to moments in Leonard Cohen’s album ‘Thanks for the Dance’. Before a single vocal line, the plucking guitar notes set the tone with an evocative and solemn demeanour.
‘About Death’ opens with the lines, “Why does it always have to be about death? ‘Cos everyone’s leaving and there’s no one left.” Gale delivers the vocal lines with Elliott Smith and Nick Drake earnest. The spacious reverb tails at the end of each line, leaving the listener contemplative about what they’ve just heard.
Throughout, the lyrics connect. Gale tackles mortality head-on through his thought-provoking poetry. A subject that we prefer to avoid, but there’s no hiding it here. You can’t help but take a step back and absorb this song as each unnerving line tugs at the heartstrings.
A euphoric piano drops into the mix. Dreamily flowing through the song, it culminates with bold chords offering Noel Gallagher’s ‘Dead in the Water’ vibes.
At 3 minutes, 15 seconds, ‘About Death’ is a haunting folk-art treasure that’ll get the cogs turning. Jon Paz Gale confronts a difficult subject with delicate vulnerability. For listeners with a penchant for darker music, ‘About Death’ will appease your need for gloom and it’s delivered by a mighty talented songwriter.
Recommended! Listen to ‘About Death’ on Spotify now: