This album “Lonesome Dangers” began as a series of basement demos during the autumn of 2014, says Johnny Pants. “Inspired by Beck’s One Foot in the Grave, I originally planned to record a lo-fi anti-folk EP. I wanted a surreal and odd sound, so I contacted Cortez in the hope that he would provide synth to starkly contrast my guitar. The project took off immediately. We traded demos and found the lens through which we would write. There are two vague arcs in Lonesome Dangers. One involves a scientist struggling with escapism after the departure of his lover. The other involves an alien who seeks human romance.”
Johnny Pants & Cortez went about recording each other’s parts in separate home studios and mixed everything throughout 2015. The result is the 12 track, lo-fi indie album “Lonesome Dangers”, which plays off the strong contrast between acoustic and synthetic. At times poetic, at times prophetic, and at times just lush and beautiful, this album will grow on you more and more with every listen. With its gorgeously eclectic lyrics and electro-folksy songs, Johnny Pants has proven that he is an upcoming singer-songwriter that means business. In an industry flooded with such monotonous imagery, Johnny gives us the worldly observations of an otherworldly man submerged in varying imperfect emotional dilemmas.
The synth numbers exhibit a more ecstatic type of expression, tending to be on the mid to up-tempo side with addictive melodious and strong percussive textures. But the moods on this album varies sharply, and you will find yourself alternating between sparse, soft and twangy acoustic-guitar soundscapes and exultant choral arrangements, as Johnny Pants & Cortez blend whimsical, breathtaking styles with more personal approaches. I would say the album has a multifaceted emotional essence, which expresses itself via a rich variety of contrasting styles whilst remaining perfectly cohesive. The effect is uplifting, inspiring and psychologically salubrious.
“Lonesome Dangers”, is simple and deep at the same time. In the overall eclectic beauty of this album, there are also brief moments of noise, dissonance and distortion, but the overall mood Johnny Pants & Cortez sets with the various instruments is original and intriguing. Johnny’s acoustic strum which dominates the preponderance of “Lonesome Dangers” songs, leaving room to highlight his premium songwriting skills are what attracts me most. Therefore I obviously fell head over heels for songs like “Chapter”, “She Don’t Trust Scientists”, “Ette”, “Carousel Lights”, “Starlight” and “Feeling Lost”, more than anything else.
At the most elemental level, Johnny’s songwriting is captivating and simple. His has ability to capture and transmit so beautifully a feeling of intimacy in his songs while his lyrics are weaved brilliantly around the songs’ music. You can’t help but fall in love with this collection of music. All the adjectives have probably already been used to describe “Lonesome Dangers”…beautiful, haunting, quirky, and passionate, so I won’t need to use them all in adding my praise and appreciation for this work, but the simple charm of Johnny Pants & Cortez will amaze you, inspire you, and have you hooked to its narrative.