Jon Rooney possesses the yearning of a natural poet who sits unnoticed in the corner scribbling in his notebook about intangible truths and unattainable women. "Pay no heed to the tenor of the times/ I will destroy the wisdom of the wise" he sings on the opening song, They Wake.
Like a well-read Indie version of Buddy Holly, his songs are direct like all pop should be yet brimful of arresting lines. On each hearing a fresh one will strike you . "You wore your Mandarin misconceptions on your face, you looked inspired" is my current favourite (From Peking) although I'm also partial to "I am gentle because I'm strong and you are wicked because you're wrong" from Every Revelry.
This nine track album is Rooney's first official release after posting four downloadable EPs online. Edinburgh's ever reliable Song, By Toad Records rightly adjudged that his songs were too good to be given away for free.
Winter Seeds still has the DIY, one man band quality of the earlier tunes even though he was provided with a band and backing singers in the Seattle studio where it was recorded. The saxophone of Byard Lancaster Nine Sisters adds an exotic touch but the lyrics and nasal baritone are enough to hold the attention.
Rooney has a facility with language that would give Lou Reed or Bill Callaghan a run for their money although he sounds like neither. The songs are evocative but playfully evasive, earnest and literate without being prissy or phony.
An understated gem of a record.
Virgin Of The Birds' website