Human Cry is John’s latest release and first for Barnyard Records. This studio recording features Andrew Downing/bass, Justin Haynes/guitar and Jean Martin/drums.
Human Cry's supremely crafted, elegiac songs offer rare and intimate illuminations, artfully performed with seasoned precision and grace. “Wonderful, sylvan, sprightly, uber-bolangaire, peculiar and smart.” Guy Maddin, Canadian film maker“John Southworth always sounds just like John Southworth, no matter how many different musical styles he's explored over the years.” -Stewart Mason, Amplifier Magazine
Unheralded Toronto singer/songwriter John Southworth unleashed one of the freakiest albums of 2009, a power pop album named after a subatomic particle accelerator (Mama Tevatron), with suitably fantastical lyrics and driven by rusty old keyboards. This year, Southworth has decided to strip down and play it straight—sort of.
Human Cry was inspired, says Southworth, by a friend telling him that all singing was a form of crying. The album is not an entirely sad sack affair—despite titles like “River of Tears in Everyone,” “Sadness Came Back,” and “Day of the Dead”—but Southworth treads mostly in torch song territory, with gentle acoustic touches from backing band the South Seas (seasoned jazz players Andrew Downing, Justin Haynes and Jean Martin). Backing vocalists Daniela Gesundheit (Snowblink) and Felicity Williams (Thomas, Broken Social Scene) lend a Leonard Cohen-esque air to the recording. Significantly, Southworth’s own voice adapts remarkably well: he sounds much more mature here, his often-boyish voice suddenly rich and resonant, especially on “Tender Mountain Eyes.”Many people don’t know what to make of John Southworth, but that should change here: there’s nothing mysterious about the simple magic at the core of Human Cry. (Dec. 16)