Jonathan Jarzyna has long carried his song “Frank” as a “dead weight”. “The song is kind of easy going,” he says. “Some of the other songs on my current album have a lot more of a story or a philosophical point of view. The point of this song is to let go, to stop thinking and not saying anything, to let the rhythm roll and the band play.
Formerly a member of the Fenster group, Jarzyna later adopted a new nickname: John Moods. He started releasing a series of singles in 2018, leading to a debut LP titled John’s essential moods. He then returned for a few unique singles the following year before setting his brand new record, So sweet so kind, released today (August 6) on Arbutus Records.
“Frank”, co-written with JJ Weihl, nestles in the middle of the album, a hypnotic dose of calm and warmth. “’Frank’ is a play on words, with a person’s name and adjective meaning to be straightforward or direct and honest,” the singer-songwriter told American Songwriter. “As a person, they like to be lazy and let things hang out and don’t feel guilty about it. They want to live and love fully and believe that sometimes saying too much can create more noise and confusion, so it is better to talk less or not at all.
I know my shoes have nothing to prove, he sings on an indie / folk / pop mix. The guitar erupts like shooting stars, but it’s her voice that keeps you spellbound, as you see her cascading down the satin melody line.
As the song’s favorite line, it showcases the song’s subtle humor. “A musician friend and I always talk about the fact that every song should have at least a ‘spaghetti moment,’ as he calls it,” Jarzyna says, “which means that while the song is serious, using great concepts and emotionally evocative language, she’s good and important to insert something like spaghetti into the song at some point to create that nice balance that can make it great.
In her songwriting, Jarzyna chooses to “focus on feeling rather than concept,” allowing universal human emotions to guide her hand rather than describing a story that may not be so touching. Originally from Berlin, he owes everything to his guitar teacher Alex for fueling his desire to make music. “[He] once said, “This is how you write a song. He randomly played two or three chords and immediately sang gibberish over them, ”he recalls. It was quite breathtaking for me at twelve. Until then, I believed that songwriting was a mysterious alchemical process where one is struck by the lightning of inspiration from the gods of music.
Listen to “Frank” below.