The concept of this series of articles was to share our enjoyment of music found in the most obscure of places, by artists that are completely unknown to us. With our previous reviews of both The Marrieds and The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer, both certainly met our criteria, but were found to be pretty well established. Both had a few releases out there, and possessed a social media presence. Imagine our delight with this most recent find, who is probably the first true ‘unknown’ and who has an almost invisible presence in cyberspace. Jason Kent may just be the epitome of what we hoped to achieve with the whole ‘Take a chance on me’ concept.
Whilst sifting through shelves of used CDs in a popular Canadian thrift store, my eyes focused on the quirky looking cover of an album simply titled ‘Jason Kent.’ Flipping to the back of the case, the album proved to be Canadian in origin, and a glance at the instrumentation on offer convinced me that this could be ‘our’ type of music. Earlier this week I picked up this 2006 CD and played it for a few spins during the commute.
My first reaction was one of amazement; that this eleven-year-old album sounded like brand new music. My follow up reaction was that this offered hints of early Neil Young one moment (in particular, the tracks “California” and “Waiting Such a Long Time”), then similarities to the likes of eighties Julian Lennon the next (“Slowly Dive in Love”). A couple of spins later, I detected more modern similarities, with hints of Imaginary Cities (“Midnight Love”) and even Jason Collett (“America”). My only conclusion was that I’d stumbled upon a true gem of an album that was a natural contender for ‘Take a chance of me’.
So Jason Kent aced the test when it came to the album itself, but how about social media? Would I find a vast back catalog of music just waiting to be found, or learn that he was part of a ‘famous’ outfit? Not at all! A quick search via Google produced very little. The odd mention of this album being recorded on a whim as an opportunity to put a few of his tracks down, but aside from that, nada. You can even download this album from reputable music sites, but a physical disc is hard to find. Who are you, Jason Kent? Why has this amazing music not crossed my path until now?? And most importantly, how did this CD end up on the shelf in a thrift store (in other words, who would toss this out???) Frankly, none of this is of concern for me. I’m just thrilled to have been the lucky one to discover this, take it home, and enjoy eleven amazing tracks that are an absolute pleasure to listen to.
There is no ‘bad’ track on this album. There are no ‘filler’ tracks – each and every one of these has strong appeal. However, if I had to set aside one track that stands out the most for me, I would probably go with the closing tune “Until My Dying Day.” Starting out as an instrumental, a similarity to The Sadies is the first thing I hear, with a dramatic emphasis on a slow-paced Travis Good style guitar sound. The guitar solo fades into oblivion before the sounds of organ and Jason’s voice take center stage. Following up with a brief vocal chorus (almost choir-like), the song delves deep into the sounds of The Alan Parsons Project with a dominant organ that takes time to fade to a close.
Jason Kent has become a welcome addition to our music family. If you too are looking for something different, good ahead and be sure to take a chance on this one for yourself. If you share similar musical tastes to us, then we doubt you will be disappointed. (Oh, and we finally found Jason Kent: he’s now part of the Sunfields, a band based in Montreal.)