Elegance and Stillness – ‘To The Bone’ by Jones – LP Review

So let’s raise a glass to our younger selves, remembering how it used to be” (Phil ‘The Hat’, from To The Bone)

To The Bone’ is the latest release by Trevor Jones aka ‘Jones’.  I stumbled upon Trevor Jones’ work a few years back reading a review of his 2009 LP ‘Hopeland’ in The Guardian.  Having never heard of Trevor or his band Miracle Mile, I was intrigued by the review describing the beautiful music within and I cut out the article thinking ‘I must get that album sometime’.  I put it on a Christmas list and, upon receiving it as a gift, it became a favourite of both my wife and I.

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‘HOPELAND’ by Jones

A couple of years later I happened upon a review of Miracle Mile’s ‘In Cassidy’s Care’ in R2 magazine (which I’d bought as I’d heard they were due to be publishing a review of the forthcoming LP by The Janskys).  Again the words in the review encouraged me to add the LP to a must have list – I was lucky enough to receive this LP as a present also.  It was only recently when playing ‘In Cassidy’s Care’ again, while being pulled into the gently sonically textured lyrical world of Trevor Jones and musical partner Marcus Cliffe, that I thought I should actively seek out more music by these gentle weavers.

In-Cassidy-sCare 1

‘IN CASSIDY’S CARE’ by Miracle Mile

So, with the wonders of the Interweb I managed to find Miracle Mile’s website, www.miraclemile.co.uk , and discovered a whole host of other releases including the latest Jones offering, ‘To The Bone’.  Actually parting with my own cash this time, I ordered a copy.

Looking across the sleeves to all three LPs the line up of writers, producers and musicians is very similar.  And to be honest, why would you mess with a blend that works so well?  It seems that the difference between a Jones release and a Miracle Mile release is a subtle one.  On a Jones release Trevor Jones is credited as songwriter with Marcus and Trevor on production duties, whereas on a Miracle Mile release they are both listed as writers and producers.  It feels like I’m reviewing three LPs here, but context and continuation seem to me like a theme in Trevor Jones’ work.

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‘TO THE BONE’ by Jones

The new LP ‘To The Bone’ is the most stripped back of the three I’ve heard.  Based around gentle piano and acoustic guitar with occasional waves of pedal steel, the LP works beautifully as a whole and moves effortlessly between each song’s core, subtle instrumental sections and on ‘Cabin Fever’, spoken word.  The effect of this, and with Trevor’s voice to the fore, means you are drawn into the stories, while the delicate musical arrangements direct you even more so to the words.

There is a gentle elegance and stillness about the work that brings about a kind of happy melancholy and sometimes almost a meditative wistfulness.  Themes of love, loss, longing and friendship crop up, and the detail in the everyday is made beautiful and important.

What started out as a letter always ends up in a song” (Pardon Me, from To The Bone)

There is no drama, just a subtle intensity that glows and grows with every listen.

I would urge you to spend some time in the musical world that Trevor Jones and Marcus Cliffe have created, you really won’t want to leave.

DS (Jan 2015)