Jon Brion & Opinions on Emeli Sandé

Jon Brion

Studio wizard Jon Brion has composed scores for films by P.T. Anderson and Michel Gondry and produced for artists from Fiona Apple to Kanye West. The multi-instrumentalist also has grown a following for his virtuosic live performances. Jon Brion speaks with Jim and Greg about the art of songcraft. Plus, a review of the latest from Scottish R&B singer Emeli Sandé.

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Jon Brion

Jon Brion

Jim and Greg revisit one of their favorite interviews in the history of the show: a 2006 conversation with multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, producer, and film composer Jon Brion. Brion has produced for artists like Aimee Mann, Fiona Apple, Spoon, and Kanye West and worked as a session player for Macy Gray and others. He’s collaborated with filmmakers like Paul Thomas Anderson, Michel Gondry, and Charlie Kaufman, providing the score for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Punch-Drunk Love, Synechdoche, New York, I ♥ Huckabees, and more.

But Jon Brion is also an accomplished solo artist with one solo album, Meaningless, to his name. Brion has grown a devoted following for his decades-long residency at the Los Angeles club Largo. At his shows, Brion improvises spectacular sets of originals and covers as he shows off his virtuosity on every instrument. He demonstrates his skills through performances of some of his compositions in front of a small audience. He also demonstrates to Jim and Greg the difference between the art of songwriting (as exemplified by Gershwin and Kurt Cobain) and what he calls performance pieces.

Long Live the Angels Emeli Sandé

Long Live the Angels

Scottish singer and songwriter Emeli Sandé just released her sophomore album, Long Live the Angels. Sandé first gained worldwide recognition when she performed in the closing ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics. This release is her first record in four years and features collaborations with producers Mac & Phil and Naughty Boy, as well as with rapper Jay Electronica. Jim and Greg have been fans from the beginning, and Sandé was a guest on the show back in 2013. Greg really enjoys this album, and appreciates that she’s taken away some of the overproduction that crowded her debut. He also likes that she takes personal heartbreak (she recently went through a divorce) to generate genuine music ranging from blue ballads to celebratory songs. Greg gives it a Buy It. Jim agrees, and thinks the production on Long Live the Angels sounds great. He points out that Emeli Sandé is giving us the best of both Knowles sisters: the underground sensibility of Solange and the mainstream mood of Beyoncé (but not in a derivative way.) Jim gives this record a Buy It.

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