Horizons – Jonathon (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Music has many masters and can be turned towards many different ends from the poignant to the petty and everything in between. Mankind has used music to talk to its gods and make political points, to inflame the masses and soothe their sorrows, we have used it to have fun and celebrate the frivolous. It is perhaps at its most potent when being used to highlight worthy causes, and it is to this end that Jonathon makes his music.

But of course, it is not enough just to make music, to catch people’s attention you have to offer something that will catch their ear, make them stop and think, and for that you need a great song. Horizons is a great song. It is a simple song in many ways, but far from simplistic, using understatement and a fairly unadorned style to make its point but all the more impactful for it. A simple beat, a gentle piano line and some washes of keyboards are all that frame the vocal, leaving it the focal point, and the song is all the better for it.

It would be easy to employ all manner of studio tricks and multi-tracks but Horizons works so well precisely because that isn’t what’s going on here. It is the humility of the song, the emotive yet almost conversational vocals at its heart and the space that allows everything to breathe and percolate properly, that makes it so striking.

It’s also a song that comes from the heart, poured out via the very personal lyrics being relayed to the listener. Horizons has been written to raise awareness, as well money, for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a serious muscle-wasting condition that Jonathon has had to contend with throughout his life.

But it is a totally relatable song to everyone, its core message being one of challenging yourself, pushing forward, constantly finding new goals and heading for a new horizon each day of your life. So whether you are struggling with debilitating conditions, if you perhaps feel lost or alone or are just struggling to find motivation, things that are more pertinent than ever considering the hardships many have suffered during recent lockdowns, Horizons is your new motivational anthem, ironic for such a measured and restrained song, but an anthem it is none the less.

Having already raised money for Action Duchenne with a seasonal rendition of Jingle Bells, Horizon continues Jonathan’s quest to keep filling that donation pot, one that not only helps support those battling with the condition and their families but looks to a time when we are living in a world where lives are no longer limited by Duchenne.

If you buy one song this week, Horizons should be the one. If you can afford to buy two, buy it twice!

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