When not busy setting stages on fire with punk rock combo Boneyard Bastards, or getting the crowd psyched to the beat of Irish folk with Sliotar, Finnish-born Dubliner J.P. Kallio takes on his music with an acoustic guitar and his bare vocals. The laid back approach to recording and performing on his debut solo album, “Northern Boy”, out on 25th of March 2014, showcases a different side of J.P. as a performer and song-writer.
Kallio who makes this incredibly refreshing, raw, acoustic, emotional, and honest music himself, is releasing a song a week on his personal blog until the album drops. We caught the first song, “It Ain’t Easy” from the upcoming album.
There are many things that make J.P. Kallio good. The first thing you notice is his easy going yet passionate voice. His vocals conveys the emotions of the song which completely complements the lyrics. Secondly the song doesn’t sound like it was quickly written and randomly tossed on the album, and despite the intensely personal lyrics, it still is accessible to everyone; meaning anyone can relate to the song lyrics.
Finally, “It Ain’t Easy” is a million miles away from Kallio’s punk-rock band, Boneyard Bastards, which shows that he is a really ambitious and mature songwriter in attempting and pulling off something like this.
To say that the music is brilliantly raw and organic would be an understatement. Kallio’s dulcet and touching songs combine smooth acoustic guitar with simple vocals to create beautiful songs filled with emotion that you can listen to for hours on end. The guitar is carefully strummed and mostly understated which allows his voice to resonate and convey what his songs are about.
Okay I’ll be honest, I heard more than just, “It Ain’t Easy” . I managed to hear “November”, “Glory To The World” and “Alive”, to give me a better idea of the artist. Whether or not these songs are on the upcoming album, I’m not sure. I just needed to hear more!
Throughout the tracks, you can really feel the sincerity in Kallio’s voice and immediately begin to connect with the songs. I guess this would be classified as a singer-songwriter album (whatever that means), but I think it is much more than that. This isn’t emotion for the sake of griping about it. The ideas and feelings expressed through the music here are very deep. I think that any fan of music would love this and add it to their list of favorites.