In a rural landscape, Evening Hymns tells a melodic tale of love and loss.
Jonas Bonnetta returns, under the new name Evening Hymns, with a landscape of instrumental harmonies and lyrical memories. Compared to the likes of Bon Iver and Sigur Rós, Bonnetta’s sound is one of passion and precision. Recorded in a log cabin in northern Ontario, Spectral Dusk is a confrontation with loss as Bonnetta comes to terms with the death of his father. The vulnerable approach to songwriting and the immense collective of musicians involved makes for a unique record. www.eveninghymns.com.
Spectral Dusk chronicles the loss of your father; was it a difficult album considering the raw content or did you find the process healing?
I think it was a bit of both. I thought it was going to be more cathartic at the time and instead it was more painful. I feel like the more time I put between myself and the album, the more cathartic it feels. Playing these songs each night on tour hasn’t been easy, and I don’t even know if it has been helpful, but only time will tell. I think it’s important for me to confront these things.
How do you feel about the album now that it is finished?
I love it. I don’t listen to it because it’s way too painful for me, but I know what it is and it’s the best thing I could have done at the time. It will always be very important to me. It’s more than just a record for me. It’s like a letter to my dad or my family or something like that.
Why the title Spectral Dusk?
I read it in a John Steinbeck novel and it just stuck with me. It really captures how the album feels, in my opinion, and I knew it was going to be the title early on in the making of the record, so it actually informed the way we put things together. It captures the idea of a ghost, or a mist, moving across a field at dusk – my dad coming in from the woods at the end of the day.
The album was recorded in a log cabin; is your work influenced by your environment rather than just circumstances?
With each song, I try to create an environment in which it can take place. Usually, I’ll pick a location in my head and then the song will come to life. The place isn’t always revealed, but I can tell you that each song exists in an active physical space.
You work with several different musicians as Evening Hymns, and you have another project, Asterion. Do you find working with other artists helps you to expand on your ideas?
I am really interested in learning as much as possible about as many things as possible, and the way I like to learn is through other people. I already feel like I don’t have enough time in this life to complete everything I want to do, but I’m trying. Working with other people, not just artists, is a great way to learn how to do things, but also, maybe more importantly, how to look at things differently.
What will you be focusing on next?
I’ve written music for a new album that we begin recording this June. With each album I learn so much about composition, recording and production – Spectral Dusk taught me a lot about the whole process. I want to make an album that is really fun to tour because I know I’ll be on the road for at least a year with it.