If you’re a fan of the Greenwich Village folk of the 1960s, you should give this young man Jeremy Aaron a serious listen. His music harkens to an earlier time, but also casts vision for a future that we all feel hope for in our heart of hearts. Let’s start with his song “Honey.”
“Honey” has a nice rolling style to it. There are shades of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger in the midst of the beautiful melody. As you listen to the lyrics roll off of Aaron’s tongue, you can’t help but hear layers of tradition. The meaning is deep, expressing a sense of love and hope in his words, while doing so with the powerful metaphor so characteristic of his genre. It’s impressive, honestly.
The following “Bitter Sun” shows off Aaron’s exceptional acoustic guitar work. The lyrics feel like something out of a Hemingway selection. The melody takes an unconventional tack, ultimately provoking the unsettling sense of travel. We always want to think of Kerouac’s *On the Road* as a happy adventure, but when we read it we are reminded how awkward and difficult the road can really be. That same imagery (of “knives and guns,” for example) is prominent in the road of Aaron’s music.
“Frozen” has a little more of a James Taylor vibe to it. There’s a nostalgic and optimism to it. But yeah, the central theme about the perils of technology seems really pointed. (As someone who literally makes his living online, it’s a bit of a mixed response.) That said, the reflection we have to have on this type of theme is important; Aaron causes us to take pause without feeling brow-beaten or condemned. Besides, it’s really easy to listen to and the organ work is just perfect. If you squint your eyes just right, you’ll see visions of Fleetwood Mac dance in your head.
“Filthy Old Farm” is another of Aaron’s tracks that takes his sound in yet another direction. Still a sound that we could easily call folk music, there are shades of an alt rock vein on this one. I’m not sure of the intent on the lyrics, but it definitely provokes for me a sense of connection with the land or – more appropriately – how few of us actually have that kind of connection. Again the earthy vocals dance decisively with the deceptively complex acoustic instrumentation. “Do you know how happy you are?” strikes me as a pointedly philosophical question, worthy for all of us regardless of our work or life station.
In short, Jeremy Aaron is a gifted singer songwriter tapping into many veins of classic songwriting. The music conjures images of bygone eras, yet also a hopeful future of what might be. There’s a beauty in it, clearly, that encourages us to be better, more thoughtful people.